Handfuls on Purpose Book A By James Smith


Handfuls on Purpose
Book A
By
James Smith
For
Christian Workers and Bible Students
Outlines, Readings, Studies, Thoughts,
Illustrations, Hints.
Book A.
PREFACE ,I
HANDFULS ON PURPOSE, Volume IX, was written
before I left Scotland, fifteen years ago. I am
thankful that after the lapse of these years I have been
permitted to add one more to the number. In my own
manner I was hoping to get through the Wonderful Book
with this volume ; but while I have managed to get to
Malachi in the Old Testament Section, I have only got,
with 51 Separate Studies, from Corinthians to Titus in
the New Testament Series. I felt compelled to halt at
the gate of “HEBREWS, ” partly for lack of space.
It is now about 25 years since these “Handfuls” first
appeared, and from the fact that they still have the
freshness of youth in their face is ample proof that while
men’s words and thoughts may in time grow stale and
loose their vitality, the living and life-sustaining truth
unveiled in God’s Word, like the living Christ Himself,
is the “same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. ”
In these “Expository Outlines” we have diligently and
prayerfully sought to honour the Lord, by first receiving,
and then endeavouring to make known the discoveries
made “in the volume of The Book. ”
May the blessing of the Lord that maketh rich, attend
all who are pleased to make use of these “Notes” for their
own spiritual growth in grace, as well as in their more
public service for the Master. I am now in my 80th year, and can praise Him that I still know something of the
holy heart-burn that comes while “He talks with us by
the way, and while He opens to us the Scriptures” (Luke
24. 32). I am thankful to the “Giver of All” to know that
in His great goodness, through His Holy Spirit, He has
been making these “Outline Studies” helpful to many.
I wish also to thank the many friends who have been doing
good service in making these books known to needy and
weary workers, and especially do I offer my sincere thanks
to the Publishers, who have been so faithful, so con-siderate,
and generous in their dealings with the Author.
It is a God-honouring work to “minister seed to the
sower, and bread for eating, that their giving may yield
a plentiful harvest” (2 Cor. 9. 10).
Yours in the Eternal Fellowship.
JAMES SMITH.
NHILL, VICTORIA,
AUSTRALIA..INDEX OF SUBJECTS
EXPOSITORY OUTLINES
OLD TESTAMENT.
STUDIES IN HOSEA Pare
– God’s Gracious and Eternal
Purpose, . . 9
The Divine Betrothal, . . 11 The Peril of Spiritual Ignorance, The Withdrawal of God’s 14
Face, . . . . . . 16
A call to Repentance, . . 19 The Divine Review, . . 21
The Final Appeal, ., 23
STUDIES IN JOEL The Severity and the Good- ness of God, . . . . 26
The Prophetic Outlook, . 28
STUDIES IN AMOS An Awful Challenge, . . . . 31 Faithful Witnessing, . . 32
STUDIES IN JONAH Jonah the Runaway, . . 35 Jonah Found Out, . . 38
jzz$ ~~~~g?~kis GraGe, t\:
Tonah Obedient, . .
I
I
I
I
I
jonah Displeased,. . . . Jonah Silenced, . . . .
STUDIES IN MICAH The Coming Kingdom, . . The Lord’s Controversy, Rejoice in the Lord, . .
STUDIES IN NAHUM.
Great is our God, . . . .
STUDIES IN HABAKKUK.
On the Watchtower, . . The Secret of Abiding Joy,
STUDY IN ZEPHAN~A~
The Blessings of the Lord,
STUDIES IN HAGGAI. Consider Your Ways, The Desire of all Nations:
STUDIES IN ZECHARIAH. The Unfit Prepared, The Supremacy of thk Spiritual, . . . . Behold the Branch, . . Formal Worship and Powerless Prayers, . .
48
:i I
Page
0 Jerusalem ! Jerusalem I 91 A Heartrending Discovery, 93 The Second Advent and Some of its Accom-paniments,
. . . . 95
STUDIES IN MALACIII. A Message to Messengers, 98 Fulness of Blessing, . . 100 Two Great Days, . . . . 102
NEW TESTAMENT.
STUDIES IN 1 CORINTHIANS. The Call of God, . . The Appeal of the Cros\: fzi The Christian Revelation, 108 3ur Life’s Work Tested, 110
Things we ought to Know, :ig The Ministry, . . sod’s Provision. for His
Pilgrim People, . . 117 3verthrown by Sin, . . 120 The Lord’s Supper, . . 123 The Church as the Body of Christ, I’he Significance oi &ris;‘s 125
Resurrection, . . 127 The Final Victory, . . 130
STUDIES IN II CORINTHIANS. The Triumphant Life, . . 132 The God of this Age, . . 134 The Ideal Life, The Great Change,’ ’ . . 137 . . 141 i Call to Separation, . . 143 )ur Warfare, . . lower in Darkness, :: :.z
STUDIES IN GALATIANS. Xe Gospel of Christ, . . 149 The Life I shall now Live, 151 .aw-Grace-Faith, . . 153 iowing and Reaping, . . 157
STUDIES IN EPHESIANS
hristian Experiences, . . 159 L Comprehensive Prayer, 162 :he Believer’s Past, Pres- ent, and Future, 164 ‘he Church as a New Man: 166 3elievers’ Possibilities, . . 169 Character and Conduct. 172 3e Filled with the Spirit, 174 Christ and the Church, . . 177 :he Warrior’s Enemy, . . 179
60 63
66
69
70 73
76
i?
83
i;
89.INDEX OF SUBJECTS -Continued V
STUDIES IN PHILIPPIANS.
Page
The Self-humbled but God Exalted Christ, . . 181 Holy Aspirations, . . 184 The Believer’ s Position, Expectation, and Pre- paration, . . . . 186
STUDIES IN COLOSSIANS .
The Power of the Glorified Christ, . . . . 188 The Pre-eminence of Christ, . . . . 190 Complete in Christ, . . 193 The Hidden Life, . . . . 194 Christian Character, . . 197
STUDIES IN I THESSALONIANS. The Model Church, . . 199 Comforting Words, . . 201
STUDIES IN II THESSALONIANS . Three Facts of Universal
Importance, . . The “Man of Sin,”
STUDIES IN I TIMOTHY.
A Perfect Pattern, . . 209 Intercessors Needed, . . 211
STUDIES IN II TIMOTHY. The Foundation, the House, and its Vessels, . . 213 A Dying ClZstian’ s Testimony, . . . . 215
STUDIES IN TITUS. Seven Wonders, . . . . 217 Full Salvation, . . . . 219
GOSPEL OUTLINES.
Almost a Christian, . . 221 The Root of the Matter, . . 245 Invited to Conference, . . 245 This Man Receiveth
Sinners, . . . . 245
The Forgiving God, . . 246 Without Christ, . . . 246 Under His Wings,. . . . 246 The Hope of the World, : : z!! A Word for All, . . Repentance, The Time is Short,’ ’ . . 247 . . 247 Eternity, . . . . 247 Is the Yonng’ Man Safe ? : : a:; Wonderful I. . Is it Nothing to You ? . . 249 The Author of Salvation, 249
A Good Stronghold, . . 249 Ask for the Old Paths, . . 250 No Man but by Me, . . 250 Provoking God, . . . . 250 Cries to Christ, . . . . 250 He is Able.. . . . . . 251 The Cleans’ ing Fountain, 251 Refuge of Lies, The Trial of Faith:. . . 251 . . 252 Faith, Plenty for ‘ the P&riles’ s: izi What shall the End be? 253
Sin, The Salvation of ddd, . . 253
. . 253 BIBLE READINGS. What of the Night I . . 254
At His Feet, . . . . 104 Fearful Thinking, . . 254
Justification, . . . . 104 The Waters Prevailed, . . 254
The Power of Prayer, . . 222 A Strange Cure, . . . . 255
The Mind of Christ, . . 224 The Meeting Place, . . 255
The Gospel, a Divine Manasseh’ s Conversion, . . 255
Revelation, . . . . 226 Praise the Lord, . . 256
lhe Christian’ s Relation- Life and Abundance, :: 256
ship to the World, . . 228 A Soul-Saving Sight, . . 2.56
What are we Waiting For ? 231 Goodness and Severity. . . 257
The Believer’ s Present The Saviour’ s Lament, . . 257
Privileges, . . . . 233 What is a Christian ? . . 258
The Believer’ s Threefold The Heart, . . . . 258
Relationship, . . 235 Cut it Down: Let it Alone, 258
The Believer’ s Equipment, 238 Not Far from the Kingdom, 259
Page
The Believer’ s Respon- sibilities, . . . . 240 Joshua’ s Conquest, . . 243.Vi INDEX
The Sufferer and
Seed, Without Me, : : Seek ye the Lord, Spiritual Life, . . Temporary Religion, Salvation, . . . . – .
OF SUBJECTS -Continued
Pagl His . . 2%
. . 26(
. . 26f
. . 26(
. . 2Gf .* 26;
. . 261 . . 261 . . 262
The Sinner’ s Hope, The Saviour, _ . , . . 275 Sirs, we Would see Jesus! 275
The Voice of the Blood : : $:E
Conversion, . . Why not Believe Me ? . . 277
X Call to Decision, , , 217
The Blood of Christ, . . 277 Two cups, . . . . 278 Neither More nor Less, Life and Death, . . : : z;i
A Wise Choice, . . . . 279 Well or Woe ? . . . . 279 A Great Light, . . . . 279 The Prodigal, . . . . 279 Works of Grace, The Blessed People,’ . . 279 . . 280 A Great Salvation, . . 280 A Fixed Heart, . . ,. 281 The Bread from Heaven, : I zif Saul’ s Conversion, Consider your Ways, . . 282
A Sure Foundation. . . 282 The Power of the Cross, . . 282 Transforming Grace, . . 283 Death in the Pot, . . 283 Pots and Hearts, , . . . 283 Two Kinds of Blindness, 284 False Fire, . . 284 God’ s Remedy for a World’ s Woe, . . . . . . 284 Loved and Lifted, . . . . 285 The Light of the Gospel, 285 A Sad Case, . . . . 286 The Lame Man, . . . . 286 Christ our Passover, . . 286 TheyOvercamebptheBlood, 287 Christ’ s Sufferings, . . 287 The Sun and Shield, . . 287 The Jubilee Gospel, . . 288 The Bread of Life, . . 288 The Ship was Broken, . . 288 Wisdom’ s Cry, . . . . 289 Are you Ready 7 . . . . 289 They Heard Him Gladly, 290 &m’ s Sevenfold Need Met,. i?i ;alvation Facts, . . Christ Died for Us, . . 291 jeck ve the Lord, . . 291 ?orgi;eness, . . ._ 282
freedom, . . . . Seven Wonders, His Work is PerfeE;, Things which cannot be
Shaken, . . . . 262 Why will ye Die ? . . 262 He Died for Us, . . . . 263 The Wild Ass, . . . . 263 Ye May Know, . . . . 264 Threefold Rest, Find Me-Find Life’ , . . 264 . . 264 The Surety, The Grace of God,’ ’ . . 265 . . 265 Light from God, . . . . 265 Could not this Man ? . . 265 Three Great Necessities, : : iiz dtonement, Behold the Man I : : . . 266 The Lamb of God, . . 267 Secret Sins, . . . . 267 Something to Glory in, . . 267 An Awful Turning, . . 268 A Great Deliverance, . . 268 I am the Door, Spiritual Blessings;’ . . 268 . . 269 A Cry for the Ages. . . 269
Behold My Feet ! . . . . 269 Salvation Certainties, . . 270 An Unfailing Refuge, , . 270 The Blood that Speaketh, 270
Grace Always All-suffi-
cient, . .- Salvation for All, ’ * . . 271
. . 271 Awake I _4wake! . . . . 272 The Healing Waters, . . 272 Himself for our Sins, . . 272 A Cure for Carefulness, . . 273 What Think ye of Christ? 273 Sowing and Reaping, . . 273 Four Titles of Christ, The Power of the Son, :: I;! The Sun of Righteousness, 274
Zacchaeus, . . *. 274
Page . . 275.INDEX OF TEXTS
GENESIS. Page
7. 18, . . 254
EXODUS.
12. 13, . . 276
15. 23-25, . . 255
25. 22, . . 255
30. 15, . . 278
DBUTJ.~RONOMY.
30. 19, 20, 278
32. 4, . . 262
JOSHUA.
10. 7-14, . . 243
II SAMUEL
3. 17, . . 277
18. 32, . . 248
II KINGS.
4. 41, . . 283
I CHRONICLBS.
21. 13, . . 279
II CHRONICLES .
33. I-13, . . 255
36. 16, . . 286
JOB.
19. 25-28, . . 245
25. 4, . . 104
PSALMS.
9. 17, 268
18. 16-20. :: 268
19. 12, . . 267
66. 18, . . 223
68. 13, . . 283
81. 6-16, . . 279
84, 11, 12, 287
89. 15-18, . * 280
106. 6-12, . . 280
108. l-6, *’ 281
116. 12, 13, 278
147. l-6, . . 256
PROVERBS .
1. 20-26, . . 289
8. 34-36, . . 264
11. 15, . . 265
18. 10, . . 270
ISAIAH.
1. 18,
*
245
3. 10, 11: 279
. . 279 .
. . 248
. . 264
ISAIAH. Page
21. 11, 12, 254
28. 17, . . 251
38. 17. . . 285
42. 7-i9, . . 284
43. 25, . . 246
50. 10, 11, 284
52. 1, 2, . . 272
53. 10, 12, 259
55. l-3. . . 252
55. 6, i, 260 291
57. 15, . . 247
59. 1, 2. . . 275
JEREMIAH.
6. 16,
23-24, ::
250
9. 267
LAMENTATIONS .
1. 11, 12, 249
EZEKIEL.
33. 11, . . 262
47. l-12, . . 272
HOSEA.
2. 14-18, . . 9
2. 19-23, . . 11
4. 6-11. . . 14
g i-5
. . 16
6: 4, ’ :: 2::
11. 1-11, . . 21
14… ..23
JOEL.
4. 6-13, . . 31
7. 7-17, . . 32
JONAH.
1. l-3, . . 35
1. 4-7, . . 38
1. 8-15, . . 41
2. l-10, . . 44
3. I-10, . . 48
4. l-6, . . 52
4. 7-11. . . 56
M I C AH.
4. l-8. . . 60
6. 1-S; . . 63
7. 7-20, . . 66
NAHUM.
1. l-8, . . 69
1. 7, . . 249
HABAKKUK. Illgo
2.
ZEPHANIAH.
3. 10-20, . . 76
HAGGAI.
1. 3-10, . . 78
1.5.6, . . 282
2. 6-9, . . 81
ZLCHARIAH.
3. l-5, 83, 283
4. 1-7,
6. 9-15, :: :::
7. 4-14, . . 89
8. 20-23, . 91
10. 4. . . 273
12. 16-13, . . 93
13. 1,
14, . . :: 2:i
MALACHI.
2. l-9, . . 98
3. 7-17, . . 100
4. l-3, . . 102
4. 2, . . 274
MATTH EW.
8. 29, 250
18. 3, :: 276
22. 42, . . 273
23. 37,
::
246
24. 37-39, 254
25. I-12, . . 289
MARK.
1. 14,
11. 22, :: ;:2
11. 25, 26, 223
12. 34, . . 259
12. 37; 290
14. 72. :: 254
LUKB.
4. 18, 19, 288
7. 37, 38, 104
13. 7, 8, . . 258
13. 34,
::
257
15. 2. 245
15. 11-14, . . 279
19. I-10, . . 274
24. 39, 269
24. 46-49, : : 266.V i ii INDEX
JOHN. Page
1. . . . . 290
i: 36, 37, 267 3, . . . . 291 3. 16, . . 284 5. 24, . . 274
6. 32-35, . . 281 6. 51, . . 288 7. 37, 38, 269 8. 36, 261 8. I. 46. 277 –, ::
10. 9, . . 268 10. 10, . . 256 1, w ._ A_. _., – 265 13 31 _. 275 r .-. we,
12, 35, 36, 265 12. 46, 47, 246 14, . . . . 233 14. 3, . . 231 14. 6. . . 250 14. 13. 14, 222 14. 14, . . 223 1.5, . . . . 235 15. 5, . . 260 15. 7, . . 222 16, . . . . 238 17, . . . . 240
E’ 19: ii 5,’ . . . . 287 278 . . 266
ACTS. 3. I-11, . . 286
9. l-20, . . 281 10. 43, . . 292 20. 24, . . 227 26. 28, . . 221
27. 40-44, . . 288
ROMANS.
:: :e. . . 226 . . 227 5. 6-11, . . 291 8. 26, . . 222
11. 19-22, . . 257
I ~4yliIAm. . . 105 1: 18, . . 282 1. 18-31, . . 106
2. 9-16, . . 108
3. 10-20, . . 110
5. 7, . . 286 6, . . . . 113
7. 29, . , 247
OF TEXTS -Continued
I CORINTHIA;..F~;;
9. 7-27, 10. l-4, . . 117
15. 51-58, . . I30
II CORINTHIANS.
4. 1-7, :: 2. 14-17. ;;;
4. 3, 4,
:, kll . . 137
5: 14, i5, 266 5. 14-21, . . 141 6. 14-7. 1, 143
1:. 27 . . . . 271 145 12: l-lb, . . 147
GALATIANS.
I. 3-5, . . 272 1. 3-9, . . 149
2. 16-21, . . 151 3. 6-14, 4. 4-7, :: :;;
4. 7, 8, . . 273 6. 7-9, . . 157
EPHESIANS.
1. 3, . . 269
1. 3-14, 1. 13, :: ;;;
1. 15. 21, 162 2. 1, . . 260 2. l-13, . . 164 2. 12, . . 246
2. 14-22, . . 166 . 3. 14-21, . . 169 4. 17-32, . . 172
5.
6:
y;,
11, li.
.: ’ y”7
179
PHILIPPIANS.
2. 5, . . 224
2. 5-11, . . 181
3. 7-14, . . 184 3. 20, 21, 186
4. 5, 6, . . 186
4. 6, 7, . . 273
C0~0ssIANs. Page
1. Q-14, . . 188
1. 15-19, . . 1 90
2. 9-15, 3. l-4, :: ;;;
3. 8-24, . . 197
I THESSALONIAN~.
1. 1. 6-10, 4;: 10, ::
4. 13-18, . . 201
II THESSALONIANS .
1. 6-12, . . 203
2. l-12, . . 205
I TIMOTHY.
1. 11-17, 2. l-6, :: ;y;
2. 3. 4, . . 271
2. 3-6, . . 275
II TIMOTHY.
1. 1. S-10, 2;; 12, ::
2. 19, . . 282
TITUS.
2. 11, 12, 265
2. 11-14, 217,261
3. 3-7, . . 219
HEBREWS.
2. 9, 10. . . 256 2. 10, 11, 249
3. 15, , . 250
7. 27, . . 251
11. 6, . . 222
12.
12.
2 4 , 279,. ;;;
27,
JAMES.
1. 5, 6, . . 222
4. 3, . . 223
I PETER.
1. 7, . . 252
4. 17, . . 253
I JOHN. 3. 4, . . 253 5. 13, . . 264 5. 14, 15, 222
KEVELATI~N.
12. 11, . . 287
14. 6, . . 227.L
Handfuls on Purpose
Old Testament OutIines
GOD’S GRACIOUS AND ETERNAL PURPOSE
HOSEA 2. 14-18.
HOSEA is reckoned the first of the minor prophets, a con-temporary
of Isaiah, in the eventful days of Uzziah and
Hezekiah, Kings of Judah. “The Word of the Lord came
to him,”and by his vital relationship with a morally
depraved and faithless wife, he symbolically revealed
Israel’s treacherous relationship with her longsuffering
God. Here let us try and see something of the abounding
grace of this God with whom we have to do.
I; His Gracious Method. “I will allure her into the
wilderness” (v. 14).He does not say, “I will drive her, ”
but “I will allure her” into a condition where her old evil
associations and habits will not have the same bewitching
influence over her. Thus the first act of grace is seen in a
merciful alluring. Why are we so slow t o recognise and
believe in this blessed work of the Holy Spirit, and to
imagine that when the pleasures of material things begin
to wither and die in our experience, that life has lost its
value ? It is always a seeming barren wilderness to the
worldly-minded to be brought into a position where they
having nothing left but God.
II. His Merciful Purpose. “I will speak comfortably
unto her. ” God knows what our deep needs are, and how
best to meet them, for “as a mother comforteth, so the VOS. x. a 0..
10 Handfuls on Purpose.
Lord. ” Oh, the bliss that dawns upon our souls when in
our bewilderment the peace of God breaks in upon our
troubled hearts. His comforting words and ways bring
us out of the darkness of doubt and fearfulness, into His
marvellous light and restfulness. Why is it that we need
so much alluring to bring us into that condition where
God can give us His most precious gifts ? Surely this is the
blindness and the stubbornness of our natural minds.
Still, “He giveth us the victory. ”
III. The Wonderful Results.
1. “I WILL GIVE her vineyards from thence” (v. 15).
What! vineyards from the wilderness, where we could see
nothing but barrenness and desolation ? Yes, out of our
experiences, of weariness, and seeming failure God can
make, even these, fresh sources of refreshing and strength.
By this we are assured that the Divine leading is never
contrary to our highest good. Our Father’s hand is never
out of harmony with our Father’s heart. His wisdom
never contradicts His love. Therefore, let us confidently
and joyfully trust, even when we have been disappointed
and brought low. “Where He leads I will follow. ” The
Holy Spirit is still alluring into new and deeper
experiences.
2. “I WILL GIVE HER THE VALLEY OF ACHOR (trouble
or trembling) for a door of hope. ” In the dark and fearsome
valley of trouble He can and will open a new door into
fresh hopefulness and larger liberty (Josh. 7. 26) to every
humble believer. We dread the experience of “trouble, ”
it may be because it brings to us such a deep sense of our
weakness and helplessness. Don’t let us imagine that we
are only making spiritual progress when we are climbing.
Our wonder-working God can make our valley of trouble
a place to lie down in (Isa. 65. 10).
3. “1 WILL GIVE HER THE JOY OF YOUTH- (v. 15)..Old Testament Outlines. 11
“She shall sing as in the days of her youth, ” when, as a
nation, she was delivered out of Egypt.She had restored
to her the freshness of his happy, youthful days. The God
of Israel is the God of our salvation, still ready to renew
and restore. Every answered prayer gives occasion for a
new song. Every fresh manifestation of His wisdom and
power brings additional victory into our spiritual being.
In this sense, that which is truly Christian never grows
old. “Even youths may faint, and young men utterly
fail, but they that wait on the Lord shall change strength. ”
When God satisfies the craving of our spiritual nature
with “good things” the youth is “renewed like the eagle’s”
(Psa. 103. 5).
4. NEW RELATIONSHIP. “In that day thou shalt call
me, My Husband“ (v. 16). Blessed day for Israel when
their “Deliverer shall come out of Zion, turning away
captivity, ”and when “all Israel shall be saved” (Rom.
11. 26). “My husband. ” This is something deeper and
sweeter than the mere formal designation, “My lord. ”
“My wife” means much more to me than “my servant. ”
What marvellous grace is here revealed. God pledging
Himself to act for His people the part of a “Husband. ”
Think of all that is involved in such a promise. Taking
the responsibility of supplying our every need, and
bringing us and keeping us in closest fellowship with
Himself. “Call ME Husband, and trust Me to be loving
and faithful as long as you do live. ” How sweet is this
assurance to the weary, trembling heart. “Let not your
heart be troubled, ye believe in God” (John 14. 1).
THE DIVINE BETROTHAL.
HOSEA 2. 19-23.
GOD did not love Israel because of her loveliness. She
had been guilty of spiritual adultery; even her mother had.12 Handfuls on Purpose.
played the harlot (v. 5). “Herein is love, not that we
loved God, but that He loved us. ” Even “while we were
yet sinners, Christ died for us. ” Note-I.
The Manner of this Betrothal. Betrothing is
always a delicate business, and should be done on just
and sacred principles; and so it is with our God.
1. IN RIGHTEOUSNESS. In a manner consistent with
His character and our real need. He must be just to be a
trustworthy Saviour (Isa. 45. 21). This betrothal is in
perfect accord with all the holiness of Heaven, and will
be faultless through the ages of eternity. But it must
also be-2.
IN JUDGMENT. The betrothed is presently guilty,
unclean, and deep in debt.How is she to be cleansed from
sin and her great debt cancelled ? This is the great problem
of Divine grace. The wages of her sin is death. Sin and
guilt must be judged. Glory and honour be to His Holy
Name. Jesus Christ, God’s Eternal Son, in seeking to
betroth humanity to Himself, took our nature, bore our
sins, shed His Blood to cleanse us, and became a pro-pitiation
for the whole world (1 John 2. 2).
3. IN LOVINGKINDNESS. Yes, in that love that delighted
to manifest itself in kindness toward us. This expressive
word was used by the Psalmist over twenty times. IS it
not marvellous to find it used here in connection with an
adultrous nation ? Behold the triumph of redeeming
love. In righteousness and in judgment, these are the banks
of the channel through which the stream of His loving-kindness
flow,“that He might show the exceeding riches
of His grace, in His kindness towards us, through Jesus
Christ. For by grace are ye saved” (Eph. 2. 7, 8).
4. IN MERCIES. His mercies, Oh, how manifold1
These are the gifts of His love to the betrothed. The
apostle calls them “the riches of His grace” freely be-.Old Testament Outlines. 13
stowed. When Rebekah decided to “go with this man, ”
she doubtless received many mercies by the way. When
the prodigal came home the mercies the father bestowed
were many. The mercies of God constitute a powerful
incentive to yield ourselves unto Him.Paul fully realised
this, for in writing to the Romans, he says : “I beseech you
by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living
sacrifice unto God.. . your reasonable service” (Rom. 12. 1).
5. IN FAITHFULNESS. This proposed union is all in
faithfulness on His part. “My covenant will I not break. ”
Faithful is He that hath promised. “I am the God of
Jacob, that changing and doubtful one, but “I change not. ”
He abideth faithful. What a comforting promise this is,
when weakness, failure, and defeat overtake us in our
work for Him.
II. The Purpose of this Betrothal.It is in prospect
of marriage Eternal union.
1. That we might KNOW Him. “Thou shalt know the
Lord” (v. 20). Know Him sufficiently to love, serve,
adore, and praise Him. This means heart knowledge,
and His promise still is:“I will give them a heart to
know Me” (Jer. 24. 7). This new God-given heart is
what men need to know God. “This is life eternal to
know.. . Jesus Christ whom He hath sent” (John 17. 3).
2. That we might BELONG to Him. “Thou shalt not
be for another. So will I also be for thee” (chap. 3. 3).
This is a searching truth. He is wholehearted for us ; we
must be wholehearted for Him, or play the harlot with
our affections. Christ did not purchase us with His Blood
that we might belong to any other. “ONE is your Master,
even Christ. ” Ye are not your own. Do we desire as
sincerely and fully to be His as He desires to be wholly
ours ?
3: That we might CONFESS H i m. “They shall say,.14 Handfuls on Purpose.
Thou art my God” (v. 23). What harmony could there
be in a home where the wife was ashamed to say, „Thou
art my husband? ” There are many who drink greatly
at the stream of God’s mercies who never look up and say,
“Thou art my God. ” There is a present and eternal
honour for all who confess Jesus Christ before men (Luke
12. 8), for Christ will confess such before the angels of God.
Open thy mouth wide for Him and He shall fill it.
4. That we might be CO-WORKERS with Him. The
wife is to be the husband’s helpmate. The members of
the body are co-workers with the head. We who have
been allowed into the family of God, by His merciful
and persistent grace, must surely feel our responsibility
to seek the furtherance of His kingdom. The cause of
God is a family business. Are you in His family ? Then
are you in His business ? “Lord, what wilt Thou have
me to do?”
THE PERIL OF SPIRITUAL IGNORANCE.
HOSEA 4. 6-11,
THIS chapter deals further with this sinful people, and
God’s exposure of their character and judgment against
them, for “the Lord hath a controversy with them”
(v. 1).Here they are charged with the lack of knowledge.
I. Ignorance of God is Common. Israel had many
manifestations of God’s wisdom and power in their past
history. Many messages from the lips and lives of His
prophets ; yet in practical life they knew Him not. The
same is true to-day of multitudes in this so-called “Chris-tian
age. ” There are many that try to justify such
ignorance by saying, “God is unknowable,” which is a
denial of the “testimony of Jesus, ” who is “the image of
the invisible God. ” “He that hath seen ME, “ He said,
“hath seen the Father. ” How sayest thou then, “God is
unknowable? ” (John 14. 7-10)..Old Testament Outlines. 15
II. Ignorance of God is often Wilful. “Thou hast
rejected knowledge” (v. 6). Paul, writing to the same
nation, says : “Being ignorant of God’s righteousness,
have not submitted themselves” (Rom. 10. 3). Those who
have “left off to take heed to the Lord” (v. 10) are surely
guilty of wilful blindness, because they love the darkness
rather than the light. The darkness being better suited
for the working out of their selfish and evil deeds. We
reject the highest wisdom and knowledge when we reject
Christ, who is the wisdom of God. Now to be willingly
ignorant of God in the presence of His glorious Gospel is
to be a voluntary criminal. “How shall we escape if
we neglect ? ”
111. Wilful Ignorance of God is Fatal. “My people
are destroyed (cut off) for lack of knowledge” (v. 6).
It is fatal to spiritual life and fruitfulness as a branch cut
off from the vine. God is not mocked. Such ignorance
leads to-1.
DIVINE REJECTION. “Because thou hast rejected
knowledge, I will also reject thee” (v, 6). There can be
no real fellowship with God where the light of His Word
is despised or ignored. The darkness of the unbelieving
heart cuts off the vision of the face of God in Jesus Christ. Think of it. To reject the pleadings of His sacrificial
love is to be finally rejected.
2. GLORY TURNED INTO SHAME. “I will change their
glory into shame” (v. 7). Were they glorying in their
false gods, in their growing numbers, in their material
prosperity, or in their freedom from Divine restraint?
They were not glorying in their God, so He would change
all into a burning shame. Our God is “a jealous God. ”
His love is so great and tender that He will not suffer
any rival for our affections and devotion. Beware, for
whatever takes His place in the heart’s affections will
certainly be changed into shame and confusion..16 Handfuls on Purpose.
3. FRUITLESS EFFORT. “They shall eat and not have
enough” (v. 10). No matter how much of material things
they seek to cram into their greedy lives, they never have
enough. Such is the experience of many a worldly man
and woman, Frantic, fruitless effort to gain soul satis-faction,
but they never have enough. They don’t know
the depth of the hunger of their own souls. Christ said:
“I am the Bread of Life. ”Eat, 0 beloved, there is enough
here and to spare. He satisfieth the hungry soul with
good. “I am the Living Bread which came down from
Heaven : if any man eat this Bread he shall live for ever. ”
Surely this is enough. “All fulness dwells in Him. ”
Herein is God‘s ocean, to fill that little cup of yours,
called the heart.
THE WITHDRAWAL OF GOD’S FACE.
HOSEA 5.
THIS simply means the withdrawal of His favour. Here
is-I.
A Sad and Solemn Possibility. “He hath with-drawn
Himself from them” (v. 6): The face of God stands
for Divine presence and approval : guidance, comfort, and
help. How miserable and hopeless must that nation or
that soul be when this face is withdrawn from them.“The
face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (Psa. 34. 16).
How can we pray,“Make Thy face to shine upon us”
(Psa. 31. 16) if in our service we are secretly seeking
self-glory or the praise of men ? He will not give His
countenance to that which is’ displeasing to His heart.
But, blessed be God, we can now behold His glory in the
face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4. 6). That face which is ever
turned to those who love Him and faithfully follow on to
know. “My presence (lit. face) shall go with you” (Exod.
33. 14). Beware. Grieve not the Holy Spirit, lest His.Old Testament Outlines. 17
face be hidden. Thou hast said, “Seek ye My face.
My heart would answer:“Thy face, Lord, will 1 seek. ”
II. The Reasons for His Withdrawal. There must
be a cause for this : a cause that is painful to a loving heart.
1. THEY HAD BECOME A SNARE (v. 1). Instead of being
a light and example, encouraging others to trust and
serve the Lord, they had been as a snare and a net, trapping
unwary feet into their ungodly ways. Do you wonder
that God turns away His face and favour from those whose
life and example encourages others to dishonour His
Name and His message ? “He that is not for Me is against
Me. ”
2. “THEY WOULD NOT fRAME their dOINGS to turn
unto their God” (v. 4). Or, “Their doings would not
suffer them to honour their God. ” Is it not so with many
in our own day? Their daily doings are such that they
will not suffer them to take time to pray, or even to think
of the merciful God they are so persistently ignoring.
Christian workers, take time to look up. Don’t let the
multitude of your engagements hinder the act of worship,
lest He hide His face from you.
3.“THEY HAD DEALT TREACHEROUSLY with the Lord”
(v. 7). Treachery is a violation of allegiance, a breach
of faith, We are traitors to the Captain of our Salvation
when we identify ourselves with the ranks of the enemy.
To be unfaithful to our Lord is to miss the shining of His
face. “Be not deceived, God is not mocked. ” NOW let
us note some of-III.
The Results of His Withdrawn Face.On their
part there was-1.
VAIN SACRIFICES. “They shall go with their flocks
and herds,. . .but they shaIl not find Him” (v. 6). No
number of sacrifices will atone for the hidden face of God
as long as the heart is not right towards Him. Not any.18 Handfuls on Purpose.
number of works, nor any amount of fleshly energy
expended in His service will make up for the absence of
the Holy Spirit of power. Out of fellowship with God
means to us vain and fruitless testimony.They were-2.
OPPRESSED AND BROKEN (v. 11). Because they had
lost the vision of the face of their God, they sought help
from the gods made by hands. Disobeying the Word of
the Lord, they became obedient to the commandment of a
worldly-wise man (see Kings 12. 28). Distressed by the
. powers of the world, and broken like a potter’s vessel.
This becomes the destiny of the soul that has deliberately
grieved away the saving presence of its God.Then they-3.
SEEK FOR ANOTHER REMEDY (v. 13). But they
found no healing for their sickness, no balm for their
wound.Lord, to whom can we go when the true fountain
of our life has been dried up?All other sources are but
“broken cisterns ”that can hold nothing that a sinful
soul needs.When faith in God has failed, then life is but
a desperate and hopeless struggle. “Without Me ye can
do nothing. ”
4. GOD WAITS TILL THEY SEEK HIS FACE. “I will
return to my place till they acknowledge their guilt and
seek My face“ (v. 15, margin). Although His face may
be hidden because of their sin, yet in love He longs for
fellowship with the prodigal nation.Confession is needed,
and the search of the backslider should be not only for
healing, but for the brightness of the face of the Healer.
“Ye shall find Me when ye shall seek Me with all your
heart. ” “He restoreth my soul. ” When the prodigal in
penitence saw the face of his father, he immediately
received of the riches of his grace. Those who refuse the
favour of God now, as revealed in the face of Jesus, may
have to say: “Hide me from the face of Him that sitteth
upon the throne,and from the wrath of the Lamb”
(Rev. 6. 16)..Old Testament Outlines. 19
A GALL TO REPENTANGE.
HOSEA 6. 1-3
THIS call evidently came through the lips of the prophet.
And from all that follows it appears that they repented
not, but the time will come when as a nation these words
will be literally fulfilled (Jer. 30. 17). Let us think of
these wonderful words in the light of New Testament
teaching.
I. The Need for Repentance.They were “tom” and
“smitten” (v. 1). Tom and tortured with their own
wretchedness, and smitten with defeat and failure, and
all this as the result of the Divine Providence, because of
their unbelief. There is need for repentance on our part
when we are tom with anxieties and smitten with shameful
defeat in our work for the Lord. He knows how much
there is in us that needs to be torn up and smitten down.
Such as selfishness and pride.
II. The Manner of this Repentance. “Return unto
the Lord. ” To return implies a backsliding condition.
The repentance that does not bring us right back into the
Lord is a repentance that needs to be repented of. The
proof of the prodigal’s repentance was in the fact that he
arose and came to his father. Repentance is a “saving
grace” only when it brings us to God in humility of heart,
and it may be, with a trembling trust.The Divine arms
are ever extended in loving welcome to the truly penitent
soul. It is with Him we have to do at such a time, not with
any earthly priest.
III. The Results of Such Repentance. 1. There will be “HEALING AND BINDING. ” “He will
heal and He will bind us up” (v. 1).Our diseased hearts
and tom hopes will be healed and bound up. “He healeth
all our diseases” and “bindeth up the broken in heart. ”
They have repented deeply who live in the joy of this
spiritual health and wholeness..20 Handfuls on Purpose.
2. There will be quicken ing “He will revive us”
(v. 2). After the “healing” and the “binding” there
comes the energising powers of a new life. When the
sinner has been pardoned and reconciled to God there will,
or should be, a revitalizing of the soul by the Holy Spirit.
“It is the Spirit that quickeneth. ”He can make all things
in our daily lives new.
3. There will be a “LIVING IN THE LIGHT of GOD. ”
“We shall live in His light ” (v. 2). The man of the world
may be all alive in the light of his fellowmen, but it is a
very different thing to be really alive in the light of God.
Not merely living under His eye, as all are, but to have the
life that is life indeed in God’s reckoning. “I am come, ”
said Jesus Christ,“that ye might have life. ” “He that
hath the Son hath life, ”and may have it in abundance.
This is the real life as God sees it. The world’s estimate
is very different; but -what does it matter as long as we
are l ivi ng in God’s sight that life that is eternal.
4. There shall be a GROWING EXPERIENCE. “Then shall
we know if we follow on to know the Lord” (v. 3). It is
the nature of every living thing to grow. The new spiritual
life is not to be like a stagnant pool, but an ever deepening
stream. We are to “grow in grace and in the knowledge”
of Him who is the source and force of the new life. This
we shall do if we faithfully follow on. “My son, if thou
wilt receive My words.. .and hide them with thee, then
thou wilt understand righteousness and judgment and
equity, yea every good path” (Prov. 2. 1, 9).
5. There will be TIMES OF REFRESHING. “He shall go
forth as the morning.. . and He shall come unto us as the
rain” (v. 3). What a bright, cheerful experience to have
His presence breathing upon us like the dawning of the
day, and to have our drooping and fainting hearts refreshed
like the rain upon the mown grass. The Presence of God,.Old Testament Outlines. 21
by His Spirit, always brings times of refreshing We are
taught to pray:“Give us this day our daily bread. ”
May we not also pray:“Give us this day a fresh dawning
of Thy glorious presence upon the whole landscape of our
lives ? ”
THE DIVINE REVIEW.
HOSEA 11. l-11.
HERE Jehovah tenderly reminds His wayward people of
what He had done for them, Oh, how ready we are to
forget the past mercies of our God. “Son, remember. ”
The sin of discouragement may often be the sin of forget-fulness.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all
His benefits” (Psa. 103. l-5). He reminds them of-I.
What He Did for Them.
1. HE LOVED. “When Israel was a child, then I loved
him” (v. 1). When Israel was a child then he had no
wisdom or strength to glory in. But the child’s ignorance
and weakness did not hinder the love of God. Let us
never forget that God loved us even “while we were yet
sinners. „’
2. HE DELIVERED. “I called My Son out of Egypt”
(v. 1). Out of the land of darkness, sorrow, and bondage.
He hath delivered us out of the kingdom of darkness and
the slavery of ignorance, into the glorious Iight and
liberty of the children of God. Delivered that we might
be a separated people unto His Name.
3. HE TAUGHT. “I taught Ephraim also to go, taking
them by the arms” (v. 3). What a picture this is of
Divine patience and carefulness. Like a father taking
his child by the arms and teaching him to walk. God
means us “to go, ”and although we may feel shaky in
our feet, He will “perfect His strength in our weakness. ”
4. HE DRAWS. “I drew them with cords of a man,.22 Handfuls on Purpose.
with bands of love ” (v. 4). Not with cords of a beast,
following in ignorance of its master’s will.Not with the
iron bonds of compulsion, dragging against the will; but
with that tender and most effective of all ties-Love.
“The love of Christ constraineth us. ” “0 Love, that wilt
not let me go, I yield my willing heart to Thee. “
5. HE ENCOURAGED. “How shall I give thee up? ”
(v. 8). What comfort we may draw from language like
this, as if He said:“I have done great things for thee ;
I have had long patience with thee.How shall I give thee
up?”Let us hear these words as coming from the lips
of our Redeemer:“I have ransomed thee with My own
Blood, endowed thee with My own life, called thee by
My own Name, given thee My own Spirit, and promised
thee Eternal Life and a place in My own Home. How
shall I give thee up? ”
6. HE ASSURED. “I am God, the Holy One, in the
midst of thee” (v. 9).The assurance of His Presence is
the fortaste of victory (Exod. 33. 15). “Greater is He
that is with us, and in us, than all that can be against us. ”
“He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.
So that we may boldy say, The Lord is My Helper, and I
will not fear” (Heb. 13. 5,6).We may well have boldness
in His service with such an all-sufficient and unfailing
promise. For “in His presence there is fulness of joy”
(Psa. 16. 11).He also reminds them of-II.
How they had Requited His Goodness.
1. They had LISTENED TO OTHER VOICES. “They
called them, so they went” (v. 2).How unstable are the
human affections. The worshippers of other gods called
them, so they sacrificed unto Baalim. Before we pass
judgment on their shameful faithlessness, let us ask: Are
there no voices of the world, the flesh, our social relation-ships
or sceptical acquaintances to which we have listened.Old Testament Outlines. 23
and turned aside from our ardent service of God!Satan
is an adept in this alluring art. “Be ye faithful unto
death. ”
2. They did not RECOGNISE HIS GOOD HAND as they
should. “They knew not that I healed them” (v. 3).
What?Recipients of His great mercies, and blind to the
Giver ? Is there any sin more common than this The
world is crowded with such sinners, and the so-called
Church is by no means destitute of such wilful ingrates.
They receive with open heart and willing arms all the
mercies God may pour into their earthly lot, but never
recognise the Giver with even an upward look.God has
given His Son to the death of the Cross to save them, but
they have never said:“Thanks be unto God for His
unspeakable gift. ”
3. They had A TENDENCY TO BACKSLIDE. “My people
are bent on backsliding from Me” (v. 7).Alas, this bent
is only too common among the Lord’s professing people.
How much we need to pray: “Uphold Thou my goings,
that I slip not. ” The temptations of the world to turn
aside always press heavily upon the Christian pilgrim.
Yet in midst of all these tendencies to go out of His way,
we are assured that He is faithful who hath promised.
“Cleanse Thou me from secret faults. ”
THE FINAL APPEAL.
HOSEA 14.
AGAIN we hear the pathetic voice of that inextinguishable
love that “suffers long and is kind. ” They had fallen by
their iniquity, but here is hope.
I. The Urgent Call. We may regard this call as four-fold.
1. To RETURN. “0 Israel, return unto the Lord thy
God” (v. 1.) He is still thy God, even when you have.24 Handfuls on Purpose.
lusted after other gods and caused Him to hide His face
from thee. There is no remedy for Israel’s sin, nor for
ours, but to return to the Lord, and in humility and faith
own Him as “My Lord and my God, ” even as Thomas
did (John 20. 23).
2. To PRAYER. “Take with you words,. . .and say
unto Him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us
graciously” (v. 2). The separating causes are in their
“iniquity ; ”the uniting elements are all in the gracious-ness
of our God. This kind of praying is very definite
business. There are many who hope their sins may be
forgiven, but who have never said a word to God about
them. Here is a simple but God-given formula for such:
“Take with you words and say: Take away my iniquity,
and receive me graciously, for Jesus’ sake. ”
3. To PRAISE. “So will we render the calves of our
lips. ” The calves of the lips are more precious to God
than the calves of the stall. The true priestly offering in
this age is, “The sacrifices of praise unto God continually. ”
That is the richest and ripest fruit of lips, “giving thanks
to His Name” (Heb. 13. 15). “Oh that men would
praise the Lord for His goodness and wonderful works”
(Psa. 107. 8, 15, 21, 31).
4. To OPEN CONFESSION. Verse 3 is very emphatic,
which simply means: No mighty nation shall save us.
No material instruments of battle can deliver us (horses
and chariots). No works of our own hands can inspire us.
But we will trust in the eternal love of our Father God,
with whom such orphans find mercy. “Believe in thine
heart, and confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, ” and
prove in your own daily experience His mightiness to
save. Now note-II.
The Divine Promises.
1. “I will HEAL their backsliding” (v. 4). To heal.Old Testament Outlines. 25
a wound is something better than merely binding it up.
To Israel, backsliding was a festering sore ; but in answer
to their pleading He will heal them. There is no disease
so deeply rooted in our moral nature that our Great
. _ Physician cannot heal. He can “heal all our diseases. ”
This disease of backsliding-a wilful desertion from the
Word and Will of God-is perhaps one of the most
inveterate.
2. “I will LOVE THEM FREELY” (v. 3). This is the
love that is not restrained because of our unworthiness.
To the pardoned and restored soul His love flows as fully
and as freely as if they had never sinned. What an
encouragement this is to the ministers of the Gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ. To him that cometh He says, “1 will
in no wise cast out. ”
3. “I will be AS THE DEW unto Israel” (v. 5). The
dew falls gently, silently, and effectively in the Night.
The Lord will yet be to the nation of Israel as refreshing
dew in the long night of their drought and affliction.
Meanwhile, all who turn unto Him in the night of their
sorrow and need will find His Presence as the dew, a real
though invisible something gently falling upon their
thirsty souls. If we had eyes to see nature as God sees it,
we would doubtless behold many symbols of His won-derful
works toward the children of men.
4. ‘*FROM ME IS THY FRUIT FOUND” (w. 6-S). Fruit
is always the result of favourable conditions, and a mani-festation
of the ckaractm of the tree. Jehovah reminds
them that the many rich mercies to be enjoyed would not
be as a reward of merit, or a product of mere chance, but
as an outcome of Divine activity in them and through
them. We are reminded here of the parable of the vine
(John 15). “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself. No
more can ye. ” The vine might say to the branch : “From VOL. x. 3.26 Handfuls on Purpose.
me is thy fruit found, for without me ye can do nothing
by way of fruitfulness. ” If we abide in Him as a branch,
and He abideth in us as the Source of our supply, then
from Him shall “much fruit be found” (Gal. 5. 22-24).
THE SEVERITY AND THE GOODNESS OF GOD.
JOEL 2 and 3.
IT has been said that Joel is the prophet of the Holy Spirit,
as Isaiah is of the Messiah. Yet he gives us one of the
darkest pictures ever drawn by a prophetic pen, and also
one of the brightest (chap. 2. 28). Here we note THEIR
UTTER BANKRUPTCY. Their failure and desolation was-I.
Complete. “What the palmerworm left the locust
hath eaten; what the locust left hath the cankerworm
eaten ; what the cankerworm left hath the caterpillar
eaten. A nation is come up upon My land whose teeth
are the teeth of a lion. My vine is waste; my figtree is
barked; my people like a virgin girded with sackcloth.
Offerings cut off from the house of the Lord. The Lord’s
ministers mourn. The fields wasted, land mourneth,
harvest perished, all the trees of the field are withered,
and joy is withered away from the sons of men” (w. 4-12).
Yet we know that “He doth not afflict willingly, but for
our profit. ” As with this nation, so is it with our souls ;
we need to be stripped naked and our earthly pleasures
withered before we feel our need of God,
II. This bankruptcy was Humanly Incurable. What
could this nation do to arrest all those adverse forces that
were warring against them ? In themselves they had no
power to resist such a mighty host. Lord, teach us to
know our own helplessness, while we war “not against
flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against.Old Testament Outlines. 27
spiritual wickedness in heavenly places” (Eph. 6. 12).
God has declared the bankruptcy of our sinful nature
with regard to spiritual power. It is also humanly
incurable. “In my flesh dwelleth no good thing. ”
III. This desolation reveals the Many Instruments at
God’s disposal. The “worm, ” the “locust, ” the “waste, ”
the “blight, ” the “drought,” and the “ungodly. ” All
these He can turn into irresistible weapons of judgment.
Surely we have need to“Behold the goodness and the
severity of God ” (Rom. 11. 22). He can use for our help
or hindrance the most insignificant things on the earth.
Great is our God, who can “make all things work together
for good to them that love God, to them who are the called
according to His purpose (Rom. 8. 28).
IV. The Divine Purpose. The reason of God’s
severity with them was to awaken in them a deep sense
of their need of dependence upon Him. ‘Now, saith the
Lord, turn ye to ME with all your heart. Rend your
hearts and not your garments” (w. 11, 12, 13). The
called of God are called for God. It was easier for them to
rend their garments as a sign of sorrow in the sight of men,
than to rend their hearts as a proof of their humility before
God. “A broken and contrite heart He will not despise. ”
It may be easier for some of us to offer a gift for God’s
cause than to offer ourselves to Him for His service. His
purpose for us is that we should present our bodies a livirng
sacrtice, and this is but “your reasonable service, ” and
the evidence of a “renewed mind” (Rom. 12. 1, 2).
V. The Divine Encouragement. “Fear not, be glad
and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. I will
restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, and ye
shall praise the Name of the Lord your God.My people
shall never be ashamed” (chap. 2. 21-27). What an
inspiring message for trembling hearts. Though His.26 Handfuls on Purpose.
hand is strong to smite, ’ tis also strong to save. Why
should we doubt in the cloudy and dark day, when we are
assured that God is Iight and that God is Iove? “I am
the Lord, I change not” (Mal. 3. 6). Our trials and
troubles are no proof that the character of our God has in
any way changed.God, in Christ, is “the same yesterday,
to-day, and for ever. ” Approach with joy “the Mercy
Seat, ” for He is waiting there to show “the kindness of
God” to every penitent soul that comes, and to restore
unto them the joy of His salvation.
THE PROPHETIC OUTLOOK.
JOEL 2. 28-32.
“AND it shall come to pass AFTERWARD. ” This “after-ward”
is interpreted by Peter on the Day of Pentecost, as
“the last days” (Acts 2. 17). This “afterward” seems to
embrace this whole dispensation and the one that is to
follow. We must not overlook the fact that all these
words were spoken by Jehovah ‘Himself, as the “I wills”
prove. We have here then-I.
A Wonderful Promise. “I will pour out My
Spirit” (v. 28). The Holy Spirit is the mysterious
personal energy of God. In the past age He came again
and again, and filled or clothed His chosen servants for
their God-appointed work. But at Pentecost He was
“poured out. “ As Jesus Christ poured out Himself for
our redemption, so God hath poured out His Spirit for
our guidance and enduement for service.
1. THE EXTENT OF THIS GIFT. “Upon all flesh. ” All
types of humanity-white, black, brown, red, and
yellow. There is no respect of persons with God; but.
everywhere all who believe in Christ, and desire to honour
His Holy Name, may, if they will, receive their share of
this holy unction, “The promise is to you and to your.Old Testament Outlines. 29
children, and to as many as the Lord our God shall call“
(Acts 2. 39). To your “sons and your daughters, old men
and young men, servants and handmaids. ” “Have ye
received the Holy Ghost since ye believed ? ” (Acts 19. 2) ;
’ or in believing, ‘did you receive ?
2. THE RESULTS PREDICTED. These results must be
such as cannot be gained without the operation of the
Holy Spirit of Promise.
(a) “Your SONS and your daughters shall prophesy. ”
This may not mean the foretelling of events, but it does
mean uttering words and thought by Divine inspiration,
whether they are in a pulpit or a coal-pit ; whether they are
in the “ministry” or the factory, in the home or in the
street. The true Christian life is a forthtelling of the
Holy Spirit’s presence.
(b) “Your old men shall dream dreams. ” We sometimes
speak of a man as a dreamer, who is given to reverie, to
deep, serious thought. But the Spirit of God, who taught
Joseph and Jacob by dreams, can even while we sleep
speak to the heart. The old men may not be so able now
to take their part as formerly in the front of public spiritual
warfare, but God has other ways that the world knows
nothing of in bringing refreshing to their weary hearts.
In this ministry of the Holy Spirit the “old man” is not
cast off because of his age. Blessed be His Name.
(c) “Your young men shall see visions. ” Youth is the
time of new visions, but with many these visions are as
illusive as the mirage. “your young men, ” or let us say,
young men who have embraced the Christian faith, yielded
to the call of Christ, and received the Holy Spirit. What
marvellous visions of possibilities you will see in the
world-wide field of labour and in the potentiality of your
own redeemed character.
(d) “And upon the servants and the handmaids wi ll I.30 Handfuls on Purpose.
pour out My Spirit. ” The slaves and the kitchen maids
are not to be exempt from this spiritual endowment,
which means increased efficiency in every sphere of life.
The Holy Spirit comes to put a new and higher value into
all our activities.
II. A Solemn Warning. “I will shew wonders in the
heavens and in the earth.. . before the great and terrible
day of the Lord come. ” The “Day of the Lord” will be
very different from this present day of grace.Then shall
the lawless one be revealed, whom the Lord shall destroy
with the “brightness of His Coming” (2 Thess. 2. 8).For
“the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His
mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them
that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 1. 7, 8).This is the merciful
Day of the Lord.Then will come “the terrible Day of the
Lord” (v. 31). “How shall we escape if we neglect so
great salvation. ” Sound aloud the trumpet of His Gospel
call.
III. A Precious Opportunity, “And it shall come to
pass, that whosoever shall call in the Name of the Lord
shall be delivered” (v. 32). In the midst of such terrible
judgments God has not forgotten to be gracious, for yet
“in Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance. ” Mean-while
this door of opportunity stands wide open, for
“whosoever will” (John 3. 16). Christ, by the sacrifice
of Himself, hath “put away sins” as a barrier in the way
of our approach. The responsibility of the sinner is now
great, because he is thus without excuse. It is ours to
“call on the Name. ” It is His to deliver. “Salvation is of
the Lord. ” “The grace of God that bringeth salvation to
all men hath appeared” (Titus 2. 11-14)..Old Testament Outlines. 31
AN AWFUL CHALLENGE.
AMOS 4. 6-13.
IT is an awful act when God Almighty challenges a crippled
nation to a final combat. “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD,
0 Israel. ”This is a declaration of war. All negotiations
had failed, a rupture had come. Now, after the manner of
men, God challenges them to battle. It is quite apparent
that in their past this would be a hopeless struggle. And
to this end doubtless was it made.
I. Why was this Challenge Given ? Because Jehovah
had been trying to subdue them in other more merciful
ways; and when the last of these failed, behold a challenge
came. God gives His reasons before He utters this ulti-matum.
1. “I have given you cleanness of teeth (starvation)
in all your cities, yet ye HAVE NOT RETURNED UNTO ME”
(verse 6).
2. “I caused it to rain in one city and not in another. ”
Thus MAKING DISTINCTIONS that should have awakened
anxiety, “yet have ye not returned unto Me” (v, 8).
3. “I HAVE SENT AMONG YOU THE PESTILENCE. Your
young men have I slain with the sword. Yet have ye not
returned unto Me” (v. 10).
4.“I have OVERTHROWN SOME OF You, like Sodom and
Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of ‘the
burning. Yet ye have not returned unto Me” (v. 11). The
purpose of all these chastenings was to bring them to
Himself, but they would not. “I have called, and ye
refused. ” Now then,“Prepare to meet thy God Are
we hearing His voice and seeing His warning hand in His
providential dealings with us ? It is a miserable thing to be carrying on, it may be silently, a daily controversy
with the God whose merciful purpose is that we should
return unto Him. “I will arise and go to my Father. ”.32 Handfuls on Purpose.
II. This Challenge Must be Accepted. “Ye must
meet God. ” But how?Is it to be in battle or in peace ?
As an enemy or as a friend ? If it is a question of our own
strength against the might of our God, who shall be able
to stand ? Though one man could be prepared by being
endowed with all the best resources inherent in the human
race, he could not dare with any hope of success to face
and defy the “wrath of God. ” To meet God in our own
moral strength and virtue, all preparation is utterly vain
and presumptive . Yet meet Him we must, and meet
Him we can, but never with hope as an antagonist.Then
how can we meet Him in peace who have deliberately
rebelled against His law and insulted His forbearance ?
Ah, herein lies the mystery and the majesty of grace
through Jesus Christ, His own Beloved Son, who on our
and on God’s behalf gave His life a ransom for our sins,
that through faith in His conquering Name we are recon-ciled
to God, so can come with boldness before His throne,
and find grace to help in our every time of need (Heb.
4. 16). Christ, for us, hath met all the just demands of
God’s holy law, and all the claims of His holiness.Hence
our preparation to meet God in joy and peace lies in our
acceptance and trust in the finished work and victorious
Name of Jesus. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable
Gift.
FAITHFUL WITNESSING.
AMOS 7. 7-17.
THE Lord hath never left Himself without a witness
(Heb. 11). The very “Heavens declare His glory. ” The
personal testimony of Amos, as here recorded, leads us
to meditate on some characteristics of true witness-bearing.
I. He Had a Message from God. “Thus He showed
me.. . the Lord with a plumbline in His hand, ” who said.Old Testament Outlines.
unto him,“What seest thou? and I said, A plumbline”
(w. 7-9). A “plumbline”is an instrument for testing.
Being in the hand of the Lord, it was the symbol of His
righteousness and judgment. He had come, through His
prophet, to measure the “high places” and the “Sanc-tuaries
of Israel, ”and to expose their delinquency. But
the point is, Amos had a message; something definite to
say, in the Name of the Lord; something that was not
manufactured to please the people, or to show forth his
own gifts, but something that burned in his own heart
like a tongue of fire (Jer. 20. 9).The early apostles, after
the Resurrection, had such a vision of the power of Christ
and of the blessed Gospel, associated with it, that their
hearts became inflamed as with a Divine passion to speak
out the “Good News. ” As Peter and John testified : “We
cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard”
(Acts 4. 20). Truly they had a message. A message that
came to them with such commanding authority that their
whole “spirit, soul and body” were brought into subjec-tion
to it. Have we lost the vision 7 Are our ears dull of
hearing or our hearts become hardened through the
familiarity of words that we have so largely lost the
spiritual thrill of this holy compulsion ? We have the
same message,the same promise of power, but, alas,
where is our faith?
II. He Suffered Opposition. “Amaziah the priest
of Bethel” misrepresented both Amos and his message to
the king, and then hypocritically asked him to “Go, flee
into the land of Judah” (w. 10-13). Even modern
priests of Bethels often misunderstand and misrepresent
the man of God who boldly “declares the whole counsel
of God. ” Opposition may be expected in the ministry of
God’s Word, when we remember the enmity of the human
heart to spiritual things. “If any man will live godly,
he must suffer persecution. ” “Beloved, think it not.34 Handfuls on Purpose.
strange concerning the fiery trials which is to try you;
but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s
sufferings. If ye be reproached for the Name of Christ,
happy are ye, for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth
upon you” (1 Peter 4. 12-14). “I will glory in my affliction
that the favour of Christ may rest upon me. ” If we are
speaking God’s Word, in God’s Name, then leave it to
God to care for His own.
III. He Gave his Personal Experience. “Then
Amos said, I was no prophet, neither a prophet’s son, but
I was an herdman and a gatherer of wild figs” (v. 11,
margin) ,“and the Lord took me as I followed the flock,
and said unto me, Go” (w. 14, 15).There is no reference
made of his inexperience or “lack of education. ” One
need not depend on the help of “the schools” to receive
the call of God. We are not chosen because we are wise
and strong, but because we are fit instruments for the .
exhibition of His wisdom and power. “God hath chosen
the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and
weak things to confound the mighty; and base and despised
things to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh
should glory in His Presence” (1 Cor. 1. 25-28). Paul’s
bodily presence was “weak, and his speech contemptible,
but his letters were weighty and powerful” (2 Cor. 10. 10).
It is of vital importance for the success of our ministry
that we should be able to give a personal testimony as to
what God hath done for us. Out of the heart are issues of
life. Apart from this there may be plenty of “sound and
fury, ” but the significance of it in His sight is “nothing. ”
We are to speak what we do know, and testify what we
have seen. It is little honour to Him. that we should
prophesy beyond the measure of our own faith. Isaiah
saw the Lord seated on a Throne, before he heard Him say,
“Go” (Isa. 6. l-9). The apostles were “eyewitnesses of
His Majesty” before they were sent to preach..Old Testament Outlines. 35
JONAH THE RUNAWAY.
JONAH 1. 1-3.
THIS is one of the most romantic of all the books of the
Bible.To those who can read between the lines, it is more
fascinating than the most popular novel.
I. Who was Jonah ? From 2 Kings 14. 25, we learn
that he was the servant and prophet of the Lord-no mean
title. His name means “Dove. ” If it was an expression
of his nature, then perhaps this is one reason why he fled
from great and wicked Nineveh. He was the son of Amittai,
but his father’s name is shrouded in obscurity. All great
men don’t spring from great parents.Although the world has
never missed your father, that is no reason why it should
not miss you when you are gone.A tinker may die without
much ado, but the name of Bunyan will be held in ever-lasting
remembrance, Don’t trifle with the days of your
youth. Jonah was the author of this book which bears
his name. Oh, what a revelation he himself gives us of
his own faults and follies.Don’t condemn him too severely
for being a-runaway prophet, for we never would have
known about it had he himself not told us.Write down
your own faults as Jonah did, and see if your record is not
infinitely blacker than his. Would you dare to do it?
At any rate the recording angel is doing it for you. It is
clear that in writing this book, Jonah does not seek his
own glory. No man can be a prophet of God who does.
Self-seeking is the spirit of Antichrist, and with him must
be cast into the bottomless pit.
II. His Commission. The Lord said to Jonah:
“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against
it. ” This was a sudden and startling call, but all God’s
calls are sudden,Look at the city to which he was sent.
It had been founded by Nimrod shortly after the confusion
of tongues at Babel, and was therefore one thousand years.36 Handfuls on Purpose.
old. It was the greatest city in the mightiest monarchy
in the world. It was sixty miles in circumference, and
contained streets and avenues twenty miles long; its walls
were a hundred feet high, and so wide that three chariots
cou be drawn abreast on the top. Its population must
% have een over 600,000. But, moreover, it was great in
wickedness, and that wickedness had climbed up to the
very throne of God. Little did those wealthy and volup-tuous
Ninevites think that their secret sins were committed
in the face of Jehovah. But so it was, and so it is now.
The secret sins of our modem cities cry louder in the ears
of God than the roar and rattle of the traffic in the streets.
If we had the ears of God, nothing would strike us more,
I think, than the longsuffering patience of our God.
Friend, think of it, every sin unforgiven is a voice crying
to Heaven for vengeance. Nothing can silence that cry
but the precious Blood of Jesus. Now look at the purpose
for which Jonah was sent to Nineveh. He was to “cry
against” it. What a task. One little pebble in the bed
of a mighty madly rushing river crying against it. But
the prophet was not to be concerned about success, he was
simply to obey the call, and leave the consequences in the
hands of Him who called him. Ye are my witnesses, saith
the Lord. Every witness for God must “cry against ”
the wickedness of their day and generation. The present
generation is cursed with dumb dogs which cannot bark.
Think of the murderous drink traffic, licensed and pro-tected
by law, to make and to bury 100,000 drunkards
every year, and men professing to be witnesses for God,
refusing to cry against it. Think of the gambling fever
that’s flushing the faces of so many of our young men, and
hurrying them headlong to eternal ruin. Think of the
infidelity and indifference that’s settling down among the
people, like a deadly malaria. Oh, that all God’s pro-phets
would “cry against it. ” But, say you, they only
i
I.
t
/’.Old Testament Outlines. 37
mock. Well, better be mocked for your faithfulness than
your cowardliness.
III. His Disobedience. Instead of going to Nineveh,
Jonah fled to Tarshish, at least he tried to.He arose like
a pigeon let loose in a strange place, performed the circle
of indecision, then darted off in the wrong direction.
Perhaps you have treated the call of God in the same way.
You have heard His Word, and knew that you ought to
believe it, and be saved, but you turned away from it, and
fled from the Lord. Jonah was displeased, and, as it were,
sent in his resignation as a prophet.It is much easier to
resign than to face a stem difficulty.Any craven-hearted
fool can refuse to obey.Yes, it is easy to flee from the
will of God, when the heart is not in sympathy with Him
and His work. It is easy to refuse hearing the Word of
God on a Sunday, when the heart and mind are occupied
only with worldly things. Jonah was on the “down
grade” to shame and confusion when he went down to
Joppa, then down into the ship. If we are seeking to shake
ourselves clear of God’s call to repentance and faith, we
are as surely on the down grade to spiritual desolation.
Think of the sin of it,“fleeing from the presence of the
Lord. ‘* Why ? Because the presence of the Lord is
I intolerable to a rebellious will.It is because of this that
men will one day cry on the rocks to fall on them and hide
them from His presence.Just now God is calling men to
arise and flee to Christ, but instead of doing that, they are
fleeing to Nineveh, seeking to drown conviction in the
pleasures of the world.Jonah having fled, the next thing
he had to do was to “pay the fare. ” So he “paid the fare
and went down. ” Ah, but Jonah had more to pay than he
expected. The fare is not all paid in advance. Young
man, have you ever considered what the fare is, from the
presence of the Lord to the land of godlessness?Look at
that shattered frame, that bleached face, that blasted.38 Handfuls on Purpoee.
character, that man fled to strong drink, and he is now
paying the fare. See that miserable miser with greed
stamped on his face, and a heart as cold and callous as the
gold he hoards ; he fled to money, and had to pay the fare
of becoming its slave. That young woman who once
thought of becoming a Christian, but was hindered
through the fear of man, and who has fled from~the presence
of Christ, is now paying the fare, in a seared conscience
and a hopeless life. Truly the way of transgressors is
hard. The prodigal in the far country, in rags and
wretchedness, staring with hungry eyes at the swine
troughs, was just paying the fare to get away from his
father. What is the meaning of that weeping and wailing
in eternity?It is this: The souls who have fled from the
presence of the Lord Jesus Christ paying the fare.What
a price.Are you prepared to pay your own fare, or will
you trust the price Jesus has paid on your behalf ?
(1 Peter 1. 18, 19).
JONAH FOUND OUT.
JONAH 1. 4-7,
THE disobedient prophet fled with all speed to Joppa,
Disobedient feet are sure to run quickly. It is always
easy running down hill,But God’s messengers are swifter
than the feet of any runaway.He sent out the storm as
His detective to apprehend His guilty servant. The
seamen are dreadfully alarmed, and take to lighting the
ship; the wares are cast into the sea.It is the old story.
“All that a man hath will he give for his life. ”Many who
have led godless lives take to lighting the ship when death
is staring them in the face. But wares cannot appease
the storm of God’s wrath against sin.Let us look at-I.
The Sleeping Prophet.He had a journey of about
three days, but being in such a hurry to get away from the.Old Testament Outlines. 39
presence of God he may have ddne it in less than two.
Being weary with his flight, and having paid the fare, he
is soon fast asleep in the ship. How sad. Weary fleeing
from God. Truly the way of the transgressor is hard.
If the way to Hell is paved with good intentions, it is
also sprinkled with many tears. It is full of sighs and
heartaches. Sleep is what runaway souls are seeking.
They long for complete insensibility to their sins. How
many convictions have been drowned in drink, and
smothered in the haunts of sinful pleasure. Remember,
insensibility is not security.A man may never be more
in danger than when he is dreaming of ease.Jonah slept, s
while his companions on board were in desperation about
their lives.I am afraid a good many professing Christians
are playing the Jonah here, enjoying selfish ease, instead
of seeking to help perishing souls.A sleeping Christian
is not only helpless and useless, but is a positive hindrance
to others.What was the cause of this great tempest that
SO oppressed the ship that it was “like to be broken. ” It
was the disobedience of the servant of God.Think of the
solemn responsibility resting upon us as the servants of
Christ. It is possible to endanger the souls of others by
our uncharitable behaviour towards God.Gospel hardened
saints make Gospel hardened sinners.
II. The Arousing Call. “What meanest thou, 0
sleeper; arise, call upon thy God. ” This is the language
of the skipper, heathen as he was, he believed in prayer.
Our country is crammed with such heathen ; men who
believe in prayer when the waves of death are wildly
dashing about them.Those who think prayer best. becomes
foul weather. An infidel who scoffed at a minister of
Christ on board ship when the wind was fair, prayed: “0
God, if there be a God, have mercy on me, ” when the
storm came. Such fair-weather sailors are common. The
drowsy prophet awakened to find that the God he sought.40 Handfuls on Purpose.
to flee from is on his track, and has blocked his way.The
seamen thinking the storm has come because some one of
them is guilty, cast lots, that he may be found out, and
the lot „fell upon Jonah. ”
III. Found Out. The runaway is found out. What a
great awakening this must have been to him. Be sure
, your sins will find you out. We see here the proof of an
overruling Providence. The lot fell on Jonah. God always
puts the cap on the right head. When God comes to dis-pose
of the lot that has been cast into the lap of time, every
one will receive their due. “I’ll take my chance, ” said
a reckless sinner, when urged to accept Christ and be
saved. What chance ? The chance of escaping detection
. at the judgment ? Kemember, the lot ‘fell on Jonah. ”
Let us remember that one transgressor may be a great
stumbling block to others. One Christian, whose life is
not in harmony with the will of God may hinder the cause
of Christ. Achan’s sin hindered the whole army of Israel
(Josh. 7. S-18). Learn also the folly of attempting to flee
from God. As a sinner, you may be permitted to flee into
the wilderness of eternal ruin, but as a servant, God is
sure to pull you up as it were, with bit and bridle. Judas
sold our Lord, committed suicide, and went to his own
place. Peter denied our Lord, but through the prayer of
his Master, he wept, and was restored. In hiding from
God we are tempting Him to shut us out from His presence
-which is life for evermore.
IV. Disobedience Leads to Confusion. What a
weakling Jonah was in presence of these heathen sailors.
Instead of being a lighthouse and a tower of strength to
help them, he was a source of sorrow and perplexity. It
is sad to see the prophet of God confused and confounded
in the presence of the ungodly. A powerless Christian is
a very pitiable object. Salt without savour is a worthless.Old Testament Outlines. 41
thing. Samson in the power of the Spirit of God is more
mighty than a host of Philistines, but as a runaway from
his God, he becomes a miserable laughing-stock. A
Christian ought to be a man of fearless courage and irresist-ible
power. He would be so if he were not like Jonah,
cowardly and disobedient. In the lap of Delilah, Samson
was smuggled of his strength. In the lap of the pleasures
and gaiety of the world the Church herself is being shorn
of her power. The inconsistency of a Christian will not
hide any more than Jonah’s. It is impossible to be out of
fellowship with God and yet have the influence and I
authority of an obedient servant. Our strength lies in our
nearness to God. The nearer the fire we keep the more
will its warmth possess us. Moses knew this when he
prayed : “If Thy presence go not with us, carry us not up
hence. ” If we have His presence, nothing shall be
impossible; if we have not His presence, we have nothing
worth having. Jonah fled from God. David fled to God.
Whither fleest thou ?
JONAH OVERBOARD.
JONAH 1. 8-15.
Now that the skipper has got Jonah thoroughly awake,
he is besieged with questions of the seamen. There is
something very sad in a prophet of the Lord being asked:
“What is thine occupation ? ” Like a soldier, the proof
of his calling should be always manifest. Men did not
need to say to Elijah,“what is thine occupation?” or
to Peter or Paul ? His connection with God was stamped
upon his every action. If men have to ask us if we are
Christians, after being in our company for a time, it is
surely proof enough that we are backsliders.
I. Jonah Makes Confession. “I am an Hebrew and
fear the Lord God of Heaven. ” If he fears Jehovah, why
does he not call upon Him? Others have been calling
VOL. x. 4.42 Handfuls on Purpose.
upon their Gods, why is he silent ? Perhaps the reason is
here, Jonah had sinned, and had not yet confessed his sin
to God. Unconfessed sin shuts the mouth of prayer. This
is why many give up praying, Sin is in their conscience,
they will not confess it, so they cannot pray. “He that
covereth his sin shall not prosper. ” Prayers, once uttered
at a mother’s knee, are now choked by a guilty conscience.
Another heart-searching question is put to Jonah: “Why
hast thou done this ? ”
To this he was speechless. We can always give good
reasons for fleeing to God, but who can give a reasonable
answer. for fleeing from God? Are you a backslider?
Have you turned aside from following Christ ?Why hast
thou done this What answer can you give to this ques-tion?
Alas, that the lives of so many should bare the
mark of Cain, the mark of those who have gone out from
the presence of the Lord, those who once professed to be
Christians, but who now deny Him by their wicked works.
What wilt thou say when God Himself shall put this
question to thee:“Why has thou done this ? ” Another
question is put to Jonah that must have been like a dagger
to his soul. “What shall we do unto thee that the sea
may be calm unto us ? ”These men believed in the doctrine
of substitution. Why do the heathen practice it ? Where
did they learn it?It was the first lesson that God taught
fallen man in clothing him with coats of skins. But now, .
in these days, this Divine truth is despised, because of
the pride of intellect. We are not now to speak about
“the fall of man,” it is “the ascent of man. ” We are not
now to teach that God made man in His own image, but
that he sprung up from a drop of dirty water, called pro-toplasm.
The apostasy of the last days is among us.
Jonah’s answer implies-II.
A Noble Surrender. “Take me up, and cast me
forth into the sea; so shall it be calm unto you. ” He feels.Old Testament Outlines. 43
his guilt, and sees in the storm the hand of Divine ven-geance.
Every child of God can read Providence as none
other can. He is willing to offer himself a sacrifice to the
God of the tempest that his companions in trial might be
saved. It seems that self-sacrifice is the way to true
service. Are we willing to be cast out for God that we
might be a blessing to others? Jonah confessed that for
his sake the tempest was upon them. If we are guilty of
bringing others into trouble by our lack of faithfulness to
God, don’t let us add sin to sin by denying it. But the
sailors were, as yet, unwilling to fling the culprit over-board,
they were a crew of noble-hearted men, and dis-played
a magnanimous reluctance.
“Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the
land. ” Yes, but their hard rowing will not suffice, where
sacrifice is demanded. All the strivings of men will not
avert the tempest of God’s wrath against sin, there must
be a sacrifice. We would rather give to God the work of
our hands than the sacrifice of a broken heart. “They
rowed hard to bring it to land, but they could not. ” It is
an utter impossibility for us to succeed in the teeth of
God’s purpose. You, who are seeking by dint of effort to
pull your soul to Heaven, will need to give up in despair.
If you wish to work out your own salvation you must see
that it is God who worketh in you. Finding their efforts
useless, they cry unto the Lord that this man’s life may
not be laid to their charge
III. Divinely Thwarted. “Then they took up Jonah
and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased from her
raging. ” It must have been with heavy hearts they
heaved him overboard. As a passenger he had paid the
fare from Joppa to Tarshish, and now he is thrown out of
the ship. See how God can thwart our self-made plans.
It is sad to bury the dead at sea, but much more sad to
bury the living. The terrible plunge would scarcely be.44 Handfuls on Purpoee.
heard amidst the rush and roar of the tempest. The
sacrifice was made. God accepted the offering, and
immediately “the sea ceased from her raging. ” The key
to all this is found in Christ’s own words. “The Jews
require a sign, there shall be no sign given, but the sign
of Jonah, the prophet. ” Jonah then is a sign. A sign
of what ? Of death and resurrection. What a picture we
have here of a greater than Jonah, who willingly offered
Himself a sacrifice that others through Him might be
saved. In the storm and the tempest we see the judgment
of God, because of sin. The sin was that of disobedience,
by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.The
remedy was the sacrifice of a prophet. What a striking
illustration of Christ, the great Prophet, who took the
place of the disobedient, and allowed Himself to be cast
out that the storm of judgment may be averted, and many
precious souls saved. “Then the men feared the Lord and
made vows. ” They made their vows after the storm was
over. Many vow to God in the time of affliction, but deny
Him when deliverance comes. The vows of the uncon-verted
are usually vows that need to be converted. If
you have been saved through Christ plunging into the sea
of God’s wrath on your behalf, then make your covenant
vows to God, and keep them.
JONAH PRAYING IN HIS GRAVE.
JONAH 2. l-10.
GOD has many ways of working. The truant prophet was
caught by a storm, swallowed by a fish, and landed safely
on shore. What encouragement to those who may be
praying for disobedient sons and daughters. You have
had no letter for a long time, but trust the God of Jonah.
With the rod of affliction He may hook them out of their
disobedience and sin, and yet cheer your heart with.Old Testament Outlines 45
unexpected tidings of gladness. But did a whale swallow
Jonah?Scientific men say that the throat of a whale is
too small to swallow a man, and loud mouthed infidelity
has been quick to magnify the difficulty.Jonah does not
say it was a whale, he says: “The Lord prepared a great
fish. ” Where the word is used, in Matthew 12. 40, it
simply means “monster. ” In the year 1758, a man went
about exhibiting a shark that had swallowed himself.
The story is that he left the ship to bathe, and was
swallowed by the shark.The captain shot it, the man was
vomited up and rescued little the worse of his double dip.
The shark was taken and presented to the man who had been
swallowed by it. If a shark could swallow and vomit a
sailor, what is to hinder it from doing the same with a
prophet? Jonah is-1.
A Sign of Christ. The Jews require a sign.Jesus
said : “There shall be no sign given but the sign of the pro-phet
Jonah. ” They had had many signs.One yet remained
to be given-the sign of His resurrection. Jonah is a sign
of Christ-1.
In His BURIAL. He was cast forth; so was Christ
cast out by His brethren.They led Him outside the gate
and then put Him to death.Jonah was buried in the heart
of the sea; Christ in the heart of the earth.Notice that the
purpose for which they both were cast forth was the same-to
make peace. “Cast me forth, ” said Jonah, “and it
shall be calm for you. ” Christ hath made peace through
the Blood of His Cross. The sin was in Jonah ; the sin
was on Jesus.Jonah was also a type of Jesus-2.
IN HIS Conscious Ac tivi ty in the place of death.
The seamen buried Jonah in the sea, and doubtless
mourned over him as one dead, but he was-II.
Alive After he was Buried. A living, conscious,
active soul in the deep.We are not to suppose, as com-.46 Handfuls on Purpose.
monly believed, that the great fish devoured the man the
moment he was flung overboard.He himself tells us that
“the depths closed him round about, that the weeds were
wrapped about his head, and that he went down to the
bottom of the mountains, ” When Christ was buried, His
friends mourned Him as dead; but while they were pre-paring
the spices for His body, He was preaching to the
spirits in prison, those-we believe-who had died in the
faith of His Coming, and who waited His resurrection.
When Samuel was brought back from the other world, he
was disquieted, because he was in a place of happiness.
If the rich man, mentioned in Luke 16, had been raised, he
would not have talked about being troubled at the change,
he would have been more than thankful. If we could see
now the joys or sorrows of our departed dead, it would unfit
us for this present life.Jonah was also a type of Jesus-1.
IN HIS RESURRECTION. “The Lord spake unto the
fish and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.He came
out of the depths with the same individuality with which
he was cast in.It was the same Jesus that rose from the
dead, that was buried in the tomb.Neither of them saw
corruption. The casting of Jonah upon the dry land is but
the earnest of that time when both earth and sea shall
vomit out the dead that are in them; some to the sunshine
of eternal life, some to the darkness of eternal shame and
contempt. Here we might see also-III.
The History of a Soul. The inner experience of
Jonah has to some extent been the experience of all who
have passed from death unto life, all who have been brought
from the bondage of sin into the liberty of the sons of God.
Will you notice seven steps in the experience of Jonah.
1. DISOBEDIENCE. He deliberately refused to obey
what he knew to be the will of God.Who among us has
not taken that step?.Old Testament Outlines. 47
2. CONVICTION. His soul is now encompassed with the
horrors of Hell.The weeds are wrapped about the heart
as well as his head. Disobedience to God is the straight
way into the abyss of despair.
3. CONFESSION. He acknowledges the hand of God in
arresting him. “Thou hast cast me into the deep. ” A
man is not in a state to be saved until he is prepared to
acknowledge the justice of God in punishing transgressors.
We must confess our sins if we would hope for His mercy
to forgive.
4. CONTRITION. “When his soul fainted within him
he remembered the Lord. ” At the remembrance of His
goodness the heart is melted.Truth lodged in the mind
in early years often proves effectual in later life. If men
would only remember the Lord Jesus Christ, how soon
would they be delivered from the bitterness of their lives.
5. PRAYER. “He cried unto the Lord. ” Where there
is true sorrow for sin it must gush out in prayer to God.
A prayerless soul is like a sealed vessel. It took great
faith to cry to God from the belly of a sea-monster.There
is nothing like the jaws of death for opening the mouth
of prayer. Many tempt God by their rebellion to plunge
them into the belly of Hell, that they might learn to pray.
Better pray in the sunshine than wait till you sink into
the depths of despair, and death comes Iike Jonah’s fish
to swallow you up.
6. DELIVERANCE. Jonah was vomited out upon the
dry land.It was to him as it is to every one saved by the
Lord-a resurrection from the dead. “A passing from
death into life. ” Some think that nobody can know when
they are saved. Did Jonah not know? He shouted:
“Salvation is .of the Lord. „” Yes, Jonah had to pay the
fare to get away from the presence of the Lord, but he got
a free passage back. The Lord was at all the expense of.48 Handfuls on Purpose.
his home coming. It is always so, if you run from God,
you must pay your own fare; if you come to God there is
nothing to pay. “Him that cometh unto Me 1 will in no
wise cast out. ”
7. THANKSGIVING. He said when he got out of the
belly of death into the light of Heaven: “I will sacrifice
unto Thee with the voice of thanksgiving, ” and so well
he may. Thanksgiving becomes a reality when salvation
is enjoyed.If there were more saved souls in our churches
there would be less need for musical instruments.There
are three states that may include us all.
(a) Those who are indifferent about salvation.
(b) Those who are praying to be saved.
(c) Those who thank God because they arc saved. Which
is yours? “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable
Gift” (Psa. 40. 1-S).
JONAH OBEDIENT.
JONAH 3. l-10.
THERE are many questions one would like to ask here,
but who can answer them ? What did the sailors do after
the storm, when their cargo had been pitched overboard ?
Did they return to Joppa to get it renewed ? If so, the
story of the storm being hushed by casting a prophet into
the sea would doubtless be rapidly circulated, and perhaps
reached Nineveh before Jonah did.
I. The Repeated Call. “The Word of the Lord came
unto Jonah a second time. ” How gracious God is, to give
a man a second chance of serving Him. He might have
left him in his disobedience to perish. What hope there
is in the Second Man, the Lord from Heaven.Is there one
of us who have not had a second call ? Yea, a sixth, a
seventh, and a seventieth, and perhaps as yet there has
been no response, God’s right to take vengeance is often
denied, but dare you deny His patience and longsuffering ?.Old Testament Outlines. 49
The Iaw was given, that failed through our disobedience;
now humanity’s second chance is in His call of grace.
Note the changed commission: “Go and preach unto it,
the preaching that I bid thee.” ” At the first Jonah was to
“Cry against it, ”now he is just to speak what he is told.
The call is repeated, but the commission is altered. Do
you notice that the Word of the Lord came to Jonah before
he was asked to preach it ? Preachers must have a revela-tion
from God. If they have seen no vision, then they
have no message.Paul could say : “I have received of the
Lord that which I have delivered unto you. ” We testify x
of what we have seen, else we are not witnesses.In these
days a bold attempt is being made to discredit everything
that savours of the miraculous. If there be no miracle,
then there can be no mercy.
II. The Ready Obedience. “Jonah arose and went. ”
What a task is before him; a journey of over 800 miles,
and then to preach in the streets of the mightiest, the
gayest, and the guiltiest of cities. But his forty days’
journey is much easier than his three days’ run to Joppa,
because his heart is now right with God.It is easier doing
great things for God than little things for the Devil. It
was easier for Daniel to go to the lions’ den than deny his
God. It was easier for our faithful Scottish martyrs to
go to the fires than to deny the faith. But where aid
Jonah learn this obedience ?. ? He learned it where most of
US have had to learn it-in the depths, when the floods
compassed him about, when the waves and billows passed
over him, and the weeds were wrapped about his head.
We would not always pity the afflicted if we understood
the purpose of God. May God plunge many more into
the belly of Hell, if so be that it will bring them to repen-tance.
When God by the hand of death snatched your
bright-eyed child from the home, did you understand that
He was seeking to bring you into the faith that saves ?.50 Handfuls on Purpose.
III. The Startling Proclamation. “Yet forty days,
and Nineveh shall be overthrown. ” A strange message
from a strange man. Jonah, footsore and weary, enters
the great and mighty city, probably clad in a coat of
camel’s hair, girded with a leathers girdle.He may seem
very small and insignificant in the presence of those
haughty gentry, clothed in their gaudy robes, and those
high flying chariots, rushing along on the top of the wall,
but he has a dignity superior to the King of Assyria.He
has a message front God that will bring the guilty and
conceited Ninevites to their knees. The mightiest men
in the world are those who know God’s will, and are
courageous as lions in declaring it. Sometimes sermons
are characterised as being as destitute of grace as Jonah’s
“Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown. ”
Jonah’s message was one of mercy and judgment. Yet
forty days–forty days’ grace to be followed with judgment
if these days were neglected. Grace has been reigning
now these 1928 years, and will assuredly be followed with
judgment in the case of those who despise the mercy
offered.
IV. The Confirming Sign. From the Lord Jesus
Christ Himself we learn that Jonah was a sign to the
Ninevites (Luke 11. 30). How could he be a sign to them
if they did not know his character and history?This is
indeed significant. The Ninevites not only heard the
Divine message at his lips, but they saw in himself a
proof of God’s mighty saving power. Jonah wrought no
miracle, but he himself was a miracle. He was as one
raised from the dead,Three things the subtle infidelity
of to-day seek to deny. Incarnation, Regeneration,
Inspiration. But every regenerated soul is in itself a
sign, and an evidence of the Divine and the supernatural.
What we are will tell more powerfully than what we say.
Signs are needed. Men and women who have themselves.Old Testament Outlines. 51
been saved and taught by God. Is there no such sign
beside you or in your own home? To see a true Christian
is to see a sign from Heaven.
V. The Grand Result. “Nineveh repented at the
preaching of Jonah. ” If he had gone with the Gospel of
the “higher critics, ”and hobnobbed with the gentry, he
might have got on for chaplain to the king, but Nineveh
would never have repented. “By their fruits ye shall
know them. ” The preaching that does not bring sinners
face to face with their sins and with God will never pro-duce
repentance. There were no sleepers under Jonah’s
preaching. There are scores who go to our churches for
no other purpose than to see and to be seen, and to get a
nap. It is interesting to observe the process of their
repentance.
1. Th ey BELIEVED GOD. It is not said that they
believed Jonah, but that they believed God. This ought
to be the aim and,end of all preaching, to lift the hearts
of the people right up to the Lord Himself. What will it
avail you although you believe in the kirk and in the
minister, if you have no faith in God?I would rather die
a heathen Hottentot than an unconverted Church member.
Then they humbled themselves, “and put on sackcloth. ”
This is always the result of believing God; faith is accom-panied
with the sackcloth of confession. Sackcloth is
never very fashionable, sealskin is more in vogue.There
is nothing like a deep conviction of sin for stripping one
of their gaudy garments of pride. Oh, man, if you saw
yourself in the light of God’s judgment, you would as
quickly as Minevites, put on the sackcloth of a broken
spirit. A haughty sinner is the imp of Hell. Never
say that you believe in.God if you have never been on your
face before Him. Then-2.
THEY CRIED TO GOD. Every one was to “cry mightily.52 Handfuls on Purpose.
to God. ” There is no use telling an awakened soul that
God has so bound Himself with fixed laws that he cannot
answer prayer.It is as natural for such to cry as the new-born
babe, Only those encased in their own conceit can
talk so lightly about prayer.No prayer book will suffice
when the soul is alive to its true need.Such are like dead
men’s grave clothes. But they did more than pray, they
“Turned every one from his evil ways. ” No prayer is in
earnest as long as sin is indulged. If we are not prepared
to forsake our sins, then all our prayers are a mockery
(Psa. 66. 18). A man once told me that he always said
his prayers except when he was drunk.Poor man, he was
afflicted with two devils. A drinking one and a self-righteous
one. Both are alike unclean. their prayer
was sincere. The result was-3.
THEY FOUND MERCY. “God saw their works and
repented, and did it not. What I Does God repent?
Yes, I am thankful that He does. In His Character as
holy, just, and good, He is unchangeable, and without
shadow of turning; but in mercy He turns His face to every
penitent seeking sinner. “Draw nigh unto Me, ” God says,
“and I will draw nigh unto you. ” “Seek, and ye shall
find. ”
JONAH DISPLEASED.
JONAH: 4. l-6.
The r e is a great difference between mere obedience and
sympathy. Every parent sees it when the one child has to
be driven to obey, and when the other delights in it,
because in full sympathy with the parents’ plans and
purposes. The elder brother in the parable (Luke 15) had
been obedient, but he had no sympathy with the father in
making such an ado over the returning prodigal. There
are many Christians like this, they obey from sheer
necessity, but they have no joy in the will and purposes.Old Testament Outlines 53
of God. Such seems to have been the character of Jonah.
He obeyed from a powerful sense of duty, but had not
entered joyfully into all the mind of the Lord.
I. His Complaint. “It displeased Jonah exceedingly,
and he was very angry,” or, as it might be rendered, he
was very hot, greatly perplexed and excited. He saw
now what perhaps he did not expect to see-Nineveh in
sackcloth and prayer. The Assyrians, being the enemies
of Israel, he probably was secretly rejoicing in the prospect
of their downfall. It is so easy to mix our own selfish
motives with the purposes of God, and bring confusion
to our own souls. It is here where thousands are making
shipwreck, they set up their own opinions and think that
God is bound by His honour to conform to their plans.
Perhaps Jonah was thinking of his own honour as a
prophet when he got so excited. He had been crying,
“Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown. ” Now
that God was going to spare the city, what would they
think of him as a prophet?We are not much use in the
Lord’s service until we are willing to become fools for
Christ. It is ours to obey and to trust. Opinions formed
apart from the light of God’s Word will sooner or later
bring the blush of confusion to your face.
II. His Prayer. “He prayed unto the Lord. ” If
Jonah‘s heart had been filled with anger against the Lord,
how could he pray ? No one can pray with anger in their
heart. This is the remedy for all unholy passion-get
to your knees. It is wonderful how our creeds get corrected
in our prayers. Open up your heart to God, and your
crooked things will be made straight. In Jonah’s prayer
there is a revelation. Here we get the reason why he fled
from God at the first. He says: “I fled, for I knew that
thou art a gracious God. ” This is the very reason why
some of us have fled to Him. What does he mean ?Per-.54 Handfuls on Purpose.
haps this : “I knew that Thou art such a merciful God, that
although I prophesied its destruction, Thou would forgive
them, so my preaching would be in vain, and I would be
mocked for my trouble. ” There was much of both good
and evil in Jonah, but something more might be learned
from this-III.
His Testimony. His description of God’s
character is simply grand. “Gracious, merciful, slow to
anger, of great kindness, and ready to turn from judg-ment
. ”How could he be angry at such a God ? He is
gracious to consider the sinner’s need, and merciful to
forgive their iniquities. My friend, can you say, like
Jonah, “I know Him. ” He is slow to auger. What a
mercy.This is an age of huny and excitement and “GO. ”
The Devil knows that his days are short, and he is driving
this world-“that lieth in the wicked one”–at express
speed. The Devil is always in a hurry. “The wheels of
God grind slow, but they grind exceeding small. ” God
is slow to anger, but He is quick to forgive. “There is life
for a look. ”This is the reason why some of you are spared
till to-day, who have been wasting your time in selfishness
and sin. “God is slow to anger. ”Why despise such great
kindness, and weary out the patience of God ? Oh, remem-ber,
that although God is slow to anger, when He does
strike, it will be the blow of the Almighty.
IV. His Foolish Request. “0 Lord, take my life
from me, it is better for me to die than to live. ” Is it?
How do you know? Here again is another manifestation
of self. “Better for me. ” Oh, yes, it is the old story:
“Suffer me frirst ” This is the fly in the ointment of much
of our Christian service-“Self-seeking. H But there is
some faith mingled with his faults. If he knew it would
be better for him to die, then he had a good hope for the
world to come. Would it be better for you? Paul said,.Old Testament Outlines. 55
“to depart and be with Christ is far better. ”It takes faith
to die in gladness, alone in the midst of heathen.
V. His Watchfulness. “So Jonah went out of the city,
and made him a booth. ” He might have shared the
hospitality of the king, but he preferred a booth outside
the city. “Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the
people of God, than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, ”
Those who testify against the world aught not to live as
the world. “Come out from among them lest ye perish
with them. ” The command to Lot was, “Flee to the
mountains, tarry not in all the plain. ” He sat under his
booth till he might see what would become of the city.
Do you know anything about calmly waiting to see what
God will do? It is a solemn time. The doctor has given
up that child, the mother has committed it to God, and is
waiting in silence to see what God will do.There are times
in Christian work when we know not what to do ; we have
to sit down like Jonah till we might see what the Lord
will do. God is worth waiting on. Beloved friends, have
patience with God. “They that wait upon the Lord shall
renew their strength” (Isa. 40. 31).
VI. His Great Joy. “The Lord prepared a gourd, and
made it come up over Jonah, so Jonah was exceeding glad. ”
How quickly God can turn our sadness into gladness.
This gourd is supposed to be the palm-Christ, a plant Iike
the running ivy, with broad leaves the shape of a man’s
hand. Every leaf might remind him of the hand of the
Almighty. What a shelter-to be covered with Jehovah’s
hands-no wonder he was glad. This sheltering gourd
was the gift o f God-a handful on purpose for a weary,
downcast pilgrim. How often has God raised a gourd far
us in our day of trouble. It was given for a twofold
purpose. (1) To be a shadow over his head. (3) To deliver him from his grief. Is not this what you.56 Handfuls on Purpose.
need-shelter from danger, and deliverance from inward
grief. This gourd raised by the Lord seems to be a passing
shadow of the Cross. Here sinners find a refuge from the
piercing rays of Divine vengeance and deliverance from
their sins and sorrows. This double salvation every one
of us need. Christian, in the day of your trial, sit under
its shadow, and wait and see what God will do.Unsaved
one, here is a resting place for you, here is deliverance
from your grief. No matter how deep your need, sit here
and see what God will do for you. “Come unto Me all ye
that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ”
He is “mighty to save. ”
JONAH SILENCED.
JONAH 4. 7-11.
EVERY visible thing is stamped with uncertainty. All
our earthly comforts will, sooner or later, wither and die.
The countenance of nature herself, although governed by
unerring law, is continually changing. Kingdoms and
nations change. What changes have taken place in our
homes, and among our friends. How many old faces are
gone, how many new faces have come.
“Change on all around I See.
Oh, Thou who changeth not,
Abide with me. ”
When all earthly things shall wax old and pass away like
a garment, the unchanging Saviour still remains.“Blessed
are all they that trust in Him. ” We have here-I.
A Short Lived Pleasure. “God prepared a worm
the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered. ”
Cod can prepare the worm as well as the gourd. While
we are enjoying our gourd of pleasure, we are apt to forget
that there may be a worm at the root.HOW many little
unseen things may be at work in the night.Receive your.Old Testament Outlines 57
mercies with humble thankful hearts.Are there not many
whose gourd has suddenly withered. That child which
used to be the delight of your eye-God prepared the worm
of disease, and it has withered away. That husband that
used to cast over you his protecting hands has suddenly
withered away. That mother who used to be your gourd,
in delivering you from your grief, has been cut down by
the worm of death. Oh, this world is strewed all over with
withered gourds. Each ruin says to us, “Set not your
heart on the things which are seen, for they are temporal. ”
Every earthly thing has its worm. The worm of time is
already working at the root of your present worldly plea-sures.
That gourd of false profession will turn out a lifeless I
mass on the day of God’s fierce anger. God has prepared
a worm that will bring to ruin every refuge of lies. What
an awful discovery to awaken on the resurrection morning,
to find our hopes, like Herod’s body, eaten up of worms.
The incorruptible Christ has paid an incorruptible price
for your incorruptible soul.
“Here everlasting springs abide,
And never-withering flowers. *
The heart that has laid hold on Christ has received a
portion that can never fade away.
II. An Overcoming Trial. “And it came to pass,
when the sun did rise, that God prepared a vehement east
wind, and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah that he
fainted. ” Alas, for you, if your joys are bound up in your
circumstances, instead of in your God. It is so easy and
natural to be more anxious about the gift than the Giver.
It does seem strange at first sight, how God dealt with
Jonah. He prepared a gourd to cover him, then a worm to
vex him, then a wind to smite him. We may find fault, \ but we cannot mend it.The Divine Teacher is not obliged
to explain Himself to His stupid pupils. A great and
VOL. x. 6.58 Handfuls on Purpose.
merciful purpose is here. This piercing east wind upon
Jonah’s defenceless head was a sore trial.It has been said
that “When the wind is in the east, ’ tis neither good for
man nor beast, ” but this does not tally with our own good
Scottish proverb : “It is an ill wind that blaws naebody
guid. ” The winds are in His fists, and are flung out, not
at random, but for a definite purpose.It was by a strong
east wind that the Lord divided the Red Sea.The cutting,
biting, withering winds of affiction are all for some
gracious purpose. I once made the remark to a farmer,
#at these cold winds would hinder the growth. “Yes, ”
he said, “they hinder the growth upwards, but they help
the growth downwards; they make the roots take a firmer I
hold, ” Then welcome affliction that drives the root of our
being deeper into the things of the unseen world, and makes
us more fit to stand in the time of tempest.Jonah fainted.
Poor fellow, he was like the seed that had no depth of earth,
and withered away when the scorching sun fell upon it.
David said, “I had fainted, unless I had believed. ” If we
have no faith in God we have nothing to save us from
fainting in the time of trial.To you who are growing faint
thinking there is no salvation for you, “Only believe. ”
Weary workers, remember that “He giveth power to the.
, faint. ”
III. A Pointed Question.God said to Jonah, “Doest
thou well to be angry? ” Jonah’s answer was that of a
man who is perfectly honest, but whose heart was likely
to deceive him.“I do well to be angry, even unto death. ”
The great lesson seemingly that God wished to teach Jonah
was that “Sin worketh death, “, both in the nation and
individual. Israel had turned away from God. Idolatry,
like the worm at Jonah’s gourd, was eating the life out of
the nation. Righteousness exalteth a nation. Now that
Nineveh was on its knees seeking mercy and righteousness,
God would lift it up.The same principle reigns to-day;.Old Testament Outlinee. 59
the Divine word is, “Them that honour Me, I will honour. “\
God Iooketh on the heart. Jonah was more concerned
about the gourd of his own comfort than the salvation of
the heathen city. Such are certain signs of a staggering
faith. Faith in God is the death-blow to all this miserable
self-interest.
IV. A Silencing Argument. “Thou hast had pity
on the gourd, and should not I spare Nineveh, wherein
are more than six-score thousand persons that cannot
discern between their right hand and their left hand? ”
What a wonder, that God should condescend to reason
with a man.There is much in God’s dealings with us that
we can never understand, and must be received by faith.
God uses two powerful arguments to silence the doubts
and fears of His servant.
1. THE ARGUMENT OF SOVEREIGNTY. God has a right
to do as He will with His own. Proud man would even
question this right and show displeasure at God’s dealings,
because he cannot comprehend His meaning. It is awful
presumption to suppose that the purposes of God are to be
subordinated to the reasonings of men.Paul’s argument
is conclusive. Nay, Oh man, who art thou that repliest
against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that
formed it : “Why hast thou made me thus ? ” Then there is-2.
THE ARGUMENT OF PITY. The Lord reminds Jonah
that there are sixty thousand persons in Nineveh that
cannot discern between the right hand and the left-60,000
babies. What a place the children have in the
heart of God; what a claim their utter helplessness makes
upon Divine mercy.Nineveh was spared, partly through
the mute intercession of these 60,000 infant priests.YOU
cannot tell how much your home has been blessed because
of these helpless children. Mothers, make room for the
children; every baby is a blessing, a priest that maketh.60 Handfuls on Purpose.
intercession for you. These arguments seem to have
silenced Jonah, for we hear his voice no more.He quietly
allows God to have the last word. Has God settled all
your difficulties and silenced all your arguments ?Don’t
keep up a controversy with the Almighty. Yield your
will to Him, and what you cannot grasp with the intellect,
believe with the heart.There is a story in ancient history
of a monarch who, when some of his subjects rebelled
against him, subdued them, then loaded them with
precious gifts. One of his nobles asked why he was so
kind to his enemies. He said, “I subdued them by my
power, I must now win them by my love. ” It is thus that
Jesus Christ, the greater than Jonah, would win us to
Himself.By the power of his convicting Spirit He would
show us the blackness of our evil hearts, that He might
bring us to repentance and confession.Then He lavishly
bestows upon us the great gifts of His grace, love, peace,
joy, rest, and eternal life. He blesses all he conquers.
Has He conquered you ?
THE COMING KINGDOM.
MICAH 4. 1-8.
THERE is a “kingdom” coming, as predicted by the pro-phets
and foretold by our Lord and His apostles; a king-dom
such as this world has never known.This kingdom
will come when the KING HIMSELF appears, He who died
for the world will yet assert His “right to reign” over it.
When He comes to rule the nations, then that prayer He
taught us in the days of His flesh, “Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, ” will be
abundantly fulfilled. “His kingdom is not of this world. ”
It can never come out of present world conditions. It will
come from God, and with “God our Saviour, ” who shall
appear in “power and great glory” (1 Thess. 4. 14-17)..Old Testament Outlines. 61
I. Jesus as King is Coming Again. As a Prophet
He has appeared ; as a Priest He now appears in the
presence of God for us; as KING He shall yet appear, and
perfect His great work by bringing the world into sub-jection
to His will; and when His redeemed people who
have suffered for Him here shall share His honour and
glory (1 Cor. 6. 2; Rev. 5. 10). This is something of the
grace that is to be brought unto us at the Revelation of
Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1. 13).He is coming; yes, coming in
Person as a Glorious Victor, just as He was seen to go
(Acts 1. 11).
II. When is this ‘Kingdom Coming ? Micah says:
“In the last days it shall come to pass” (v. 1).The “last
days,” not of the world’s history, but of this present age.
The day or the hour of His appearing no man can know;
but the signs of the “last days” are something given us
whereby we might know that the day of His appearing is
drawing nigh. We are assured that in the last days
Perilous times will come (2 Tim. 3. 1).These last times
will be dangerous, hazardous, involving terrible risk:
“Distress of nations with perplexity, men’s hearts failing
them for fear. while they are looking after those things
which are coming on the earth. ” Then, while all such
conditions are with us, “shall they see the SON OF MAN
coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke
21. 25-28). Are these “signs” with us now or not? Many
of these sorrows have always been with mankind, but in
these “last days” they become “signs, ” as the world has
no remedy for its own diseases. These signs are danger
signals.
III. The Characteristics of His Kingdom, as
revealed by this prophecy.
1. It will be Centered at JERUSALEM.“The mountain
of the Home of the Lord shall be established in the top of.62 Handfuls on Purpose.
the mountains.. . and exalted above the hills and peoples
shall flow into it” (v. 1, R.v.). Where. else could this
heavenly kingdom find its capital but in His own City.
Even there where He Himself was crucified for the world’s
sin. Blessed thought, where His Cross of suffering and
shame was lifted up, there will be His Throne of dominion,
the symbol of power and victory over all His enemies.
“The House of the Lord” will then be worthy of His Holy
Name, when all peoples shall flow into it, and every tongue
confess that He is Lord, Jerusalem will again become a
praise on the earth.
2. ITWILLBE UNIVERSAL. “Many nationsshallcome…
He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His
paths.. .and the Word of the Lord shall go forth from
Jerusalem” (v, 2). The heathen shall be given Him for
His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for
His possession (Psa. 2. 8). He who hung on a Cross will
yet have a world bowing before Him,Worthy is the Lamb
that was slain, to receive this honour and glory and
dominion (Isa. 9. 7).
3. IT WILL BE PEACEFUL. “He shall judge.. . and
rebuke. . .they shall beat their swords into plowshares . . .
and shall learn war no more” (v, 3). What a deliverance
for a world now lying in wickedness1His Name shall be
PRINCE OF PEACE, and the government shall be upon His
shoulders (Isa. 9. 6). In that day the “prince of this
world, ”now working in the children of disobedience,
will be utterly overthrown. Meanwhile, let us hear and
rest in His own comforting words: “Let not your heart
be troubled. . .ye believe in Me , . . I will come again”
(John 14. l-3).
4. IT WILL BE ABUNDANTLY PROSPEROUS. “They shall
sit every man under his vine, and under his fig tree, and
none shal1 make them afraid” (v. 4). No fear of raiders,.Old Testament Outlines . 63
or pestilence, or drought, for the wilderness and the desert
shall blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly.
The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty
land springs of water. There shall be joy and gladness,
“and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isa. 35). NO
more anxious scanning of the sky, sighing for the refreshing
rain; all the elements in earth, air, and sea under His
control, and made subservient to the good of His people
(Isa. 12).
5. IT WILL BE A TIME OF GREAT JOY. To His ancient
people it will be a national resurrection, for “The ran-somed
of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs
and everlasting joy upon their heads” (Isa. 35. 10). Micah
tells us : “In that day, saith the Lord, will I assemble her
that halteth, and gather her that is driven out, and the
afflicted; and I will make her a strong nation, and the
Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion.. .for ever ”
(vv. 6, 7).What a reunion for this halting, scattered, and
afflicted people. Truly their restoration will be as “life
from the dead. ” A saved and happy nation I What a
mighty influence they will have on the peoples of the
earth. But what about the Church? Those who belong
to Christ now 3 Ah, “Christ the firstfruits ” Afterward,
“they that are Christ’s at His Coming. For He must
reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet”
(1 Cor. 15. 23-25).
THE LORD’ S CONTROVERSY.
MICAH 6. 1-8.
“HEAR ye, 0 mountains, the Lord’s controversy” (v. 2)
After all that He hath done for His people, why should
there still be a “controversy” between them? Even
God’s choosen ones are often stubborn. God has had a
controversy with humanity since Adam’s fall. The.64 Handfuls on Purpose.
great mission of the Lord Jesus Christ was that of recon-ciliation.
Hear His-I.
Sorrowful Questions. What pathos is in them,
revealing His heart agony.
1. “0 My people, WHAT HAVE I DONE UNTO THEE ? ”
(v. 3). Think of what I have done for thee! Think of
how thou hast requited My longsuffering patience, and
kindness toward thee. 0 My people, redeemed by the
precious Blood of Christ, what have I done unto thee,
that your heart is so cold toward Me, and your service so
formal and fruitless ?
2. “WHEREIN HAVE I wearied thee? testify against
Me” (v. 3). Is it possible to get wearied of God? We
may possibly get wearied in His service. Surely never of
it. If spiritual things are becoming wearisome to your
soul, would you dare to “testify against Him, ” that His
dealings with you are not in harmony with His revealed
will ?It is a small thing for you to weary men, but will
ye weary my God also? (Isa. 7. 13).
II. Mercies Recalled. “0 My people, remember”
(v. 5). How grievous it must be to our Heavenly Father
when we grow weary of Him through forgetfulness of His
benefits. Remember He says-1.
That “I BROUGHT THEE UP out of Egypt” (v. 4).
Remember that I broke the power of your oppressors, and
led you forth into joyful freedom.Brethren, let us never
forget that it was the loving grace of God that delivered us
from the power of sin, the bondage of the world, and the
delusions of the Devil, into the blessed liberty of “sons
of God. ”
2. That“I REDEEMED Th ee. ” The price Jehovah
paid to redeem Israel out of Egypt was His terrible judg-ments
upon her enemies.But the price He paid to redeem
us from guilt and sin was the life and Blood of His own.Old Testament Outlines. 65
Beloved Son. “He gave Himself a ransom for us. ”
Remember, ye are not your own, ye have been bought with
a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and spirit,
which are His.
3. That “I SENT BEFORE Thee MOSES, AARON, AND
MIRIAM” (vv. 4, 5). These three leaders are typical of a
threefold blessing: Moses, the legislator; Aaron, the
intercessor; Miriam, the song leader (Exod. 15. 20, 21).
The word, the worship, and the praise.Has He not also
given us His Word, like Moses ; liberty of access, like
Aaron ; and the song of victiory, like Miriam. Thanks be
unto God who giveth us the victory.
4. That “I TURNED Bala am’s INTENDED CURSE INTO A
BLESSING (v. 5 ; see Num; 23. 11, 12).What a wonderful
proof this is of the overruling power of God on behalf of
His people. Take no anxious thought for your life. He
careth for you.
III. Personal Perplexities. In verses 6, 7, we have
language that might well become an anxious sin-smitten
soul, seeking the favour of God. “Wherewith shall I
come before the Lord” (v. 6). With what shall I come, that
I might find acceptance in His eyes?This old question is
ever and anon burrowing its way into Spirit-awakened
minds and hearts.There is a deep conviction that some-t
h in g is needed. But what that something is remains a
mystery to those who know not Jesus Christ as their
Redeemer. “Shall I come with burnt-offerings? Will
the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten
thousands of rivers of oil ? Shall I give the fruit of my
body for the sin of my soul?” (v. 7). Abraham was
willing to give his only son Isaac, but God provided
Himself with an offering. “Behold the Lamb of God, that
taketh away the sin of the world. ” It is not possibe that
the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.66 Handfuls on Purpose.
(Heb. 10. 4). There is absolutely nothing man can offer
God that can in any way take the place He has given the
Christ, who Himself bore our sins to the accursed tree.
Anything we can offer, apart from Him, is but an insult
to His Cross. In that Cross there is the “wherewith” we
can come boldly before the Lord.
IV. The Way Revealed. “He hath showed thee, 0
man, what doth the Lord require of thee. To do justly,
to love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God” (v. 8).
Many proud and worldly people quote these words to
justify themselves before God and men. They say, “1 do
justly; I love mercy and walk humbly. ” Yes, but no
experience of truly walking with God I It is easy for us to
talk of justice, mercy, and humility, while we may know
nothing experimentally of the reconciling Blood of His
Cross. “How can two walk together except they be
agreed ? ” How can we be agreed with God if we ar e
persistently ignoring the redemptive work of Jesus Christ
on our behalf?We may do justly and love mercy, but to
humbly walk with thy God is impossible without a new
birth, a new spirit, and an entire surrender of ourselves
to Him in the daily life.
REJOICE IN THE LORD.
MICAH 7. 7-20.
“THE joy of the Lord is your strength. ” The closing
words of this prophet give us abundant cause for this joy,
for his God is our God. See here-I.
His Joyful confidence. The following utterances
in view of very depressing conditions, seem to be the
spontaneous expressions of a satisfied and joyful heart.
1. “I WILL LOOK UNTO The LORD” (v. 7).The upward
look to the believing soul is always a clear one, even when.Old Testament Outlines. 87
the outward and the inward look is dark, cloudy, and
foreboding, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved. ”
2. “I WILL WAIT FOR The GOD OF MY Sal v a ti o n” *
(v. 7). The look may be like a flash, but we must also
quietly wait for Him.The waiting time may be the testing
time; but if we are waiting for God’s salvation it will
surely come.
3. “WHEN I FALL I SHALL ARISE. ” So that the joy of
the enemy over the fall shall be quickly spoiled (v. 8).
“Falls” are not to be expected, for “He is able to keep you
from falling. ” When you do fall, either openly or
secretly, arise before the enemy gets time to rejoice.
4. “WHEN I SIT IN DARKNESS, THE LORD SHALL BE A
LIGHT UNTO ME” (v. 8). Blessed darkness, when all the’
light we have is in His Holy Presence. “Yea though I
walk through the valley of the shadow I will fear no evil,
for Thou art with me” (Psa. 23).
5. “I WILL BEAR THE INDIGNATION.. . UNTIL HE PLEAD
MY CAUSE” (v, 9).When stricken by the chastening hand
of God it is good just to bear the stroke until He plead my
cause, as Job did, and God did plead his cause and reward
his patience.
6, “HE SHALL BRING ME TO THE LIGHT, and I shall+
BEHOLD HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS” (v. 9). The patient,
trustful sufferers He shall bring into the light, and cause
such to behold his righteousness in all His dealings with
them, for He doeth all things well.And at last, when He
brings us into the glorious light of our Redeemer’s face,
and behold His righteousness in all His dealings with us
while pilgrims and strangers on the earth, what a revela-tion,
what joy, what cause for praise I
II. Joyful Reasons for Such Confidence. In these
verses -(18-20) we have what has been recognised as an
unparalleled expression of the gracious character of our.68 Handfuls on Purpose.
God. “Who is a God like unto Thee ? ” Here are seven
things He does for His people.
1. HE PARDONETH INIQUITY. What a comfort to know
that His pardon can extend to our lack of rectitude, or
moral principle, in our dealings with our fellow-men.
Such sins may not always be apparent to others, but they
are naked in his eyes.
2. HE PASSETH BY THE TRANSGRESSION. He is willing
to overlook our trespasses against His holy law and our
presumptuous intruding into the holy domain of His
Presence, as when we come before Him in our pride and
self-confidence.
3. HE Ret a i ne th NOT His ANGER FOR EVER. His
anger is as just and as holy as His love.But in grace He
retaineth not His anger, because love has triumphed.
We may well rejoice as we see the proof of this in the gift
of His Son (John 3. 16).
4. HE Deli g h te t h IN MERCY.We do not read that He
delighteth in judgment. “As I live, saith the Lord, I
have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that he
should turn from his’s way; “ for “He delighteth in mercy. ”
Herein lies the hope of sinful men.
5 . HE Wi ll HAVE CO M P A S S I O N A N D SU B D U E OUR
INIQUITIES. To conquer and subdue is something deeper
than merely to forgive.This he does for us by the incoming
of His mighty Spirit into the citadel of the soul.
6. He CASTS ALL OUR SINS INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE
SEA. This is, of course, figurative language. They are ’
buried where there can be no resurrection, into the depths
of His eternal forgetfulness. “Behind His back, ” where
His holy eyes can see them no more (Isa. 38. 17).
7. HE WILL PERFORM HIS PROMISES to His believing
children. “He is faithfd that hath promised. ” All these
gracious features constitute a true likeness of the Father,.Old Testament Outlines. 69
as revealed to us in the face of Jesus Christ, who appeared
as the image of the invisible God, and who said, “Him
that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out. ” Rejoice
in the Lord.
GREAT IS OUR GOD.
NAHUM 1. 1-8.
THE prophet is here burdened with a terrible sentence. But
while the judgments recorded were against old Nineveh,
they are a very solemn revelation to us of the great and
terrible God with whom impenitent sinners will have to do.
I. God is Jealous (v. 2). Jealousy may be defined
as an uneasy state of mind, under fear that another has
engaged the affections of one you love. God is jealous of
any rival for our affections and trust, just because His 20~s
is so good and true. “Love not the world, nor the things
of the world, ‘ I that you provoke Him not to jealousy.
The world and self are His rivals.
II. The Lord’ s Revenge is Furioue (v. 2). When
God is for us His power is Almighty; when against us it is
equally Almighty. When He avengeth IS adversaries
it will be with a fury that is overwhelming. 0 proud man,
think of the God with whom ye have to do.
III. The Lord is Slow to Anger (v. 3). He is not
what we say of some people, “quiet tempered. ” All past
history is proof of this. In the days before the Flood God
gave them 120 years’ notice (Gen. 6. 3). This long-suffering
patience of God is often misconstrued as utter
indifference. While ‘His aww comes slowly, bless His
Name, His love comes quickly.
IV. The Lord is Great in Power, and will not at all
acqkt the widwd “ (v. 3 ). How shall we escape if we
neglect His great salvation ? Here is the answer. “NoL’.70 Handfuls on Purpose.
ab all. I’ What a solemn and urgent truth this is for those
who deny His love and ignore His proffered mercy in the
Gospel of His grace. “He that believeth not is condemned .
aZy&y” (John 3. 18). But the final execution of this
sentence awaits the day of His great power (v. 6).
V. The Lord has His Way in ‘the whirlwind, in the
storm, the clotis, the vivms, the sea, and the fira (v. 6).
We cannot imagine any of the natural forces He has
created rcbellilzg against His will. They are all weapons
at His disposal. He has His way in them all. We are
assured that every atom in the universe is under law.
The winds are in His fist, the clouds are the dust of His
feet. It is man and fallen angels who are the rebels. But
“who shall stand before His indignation I ” (v. 6).
VI. “The Lord is Good, a Strong Hold in the Day
of Trouble” (v. 7). The Lord is great in ~OWIY, but also
in goodness. His goodness is a sfroq hold for us in the day
of our trouble because of sin, or weakness, or failure.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in
trouble” (Psa. 46, 1). “By grace are ye saved” (Eph. 2. 8)
VII. The Lord Knoweth Them that Trust in Him
(v. 7). We are known unto God, not by our wisdom, not
by our many works, or popularity in the eyes of men, but
by our trust in Him. The Lord knoweth such, although
the world knows nothing of them. Have faith in God,
and rest assured that He kPzow&h them that trust in Him,
and will surely satisfy them with His goodness. Blessed
are all they that put their trust in Him. .
ON THE WATCH TOWER. ~
HABAKKUK 2.
WE need not imagine the prophet climbing to some hill
top to get this expected vision, but that in his own heart
he would take the attitude of being on the outlook, and.Old Testament Outlines. 71
wait for God’s message. The message given can be easily
applied to the present times, as all Scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof (2 Tim. 3. 10). This message is chiefly for reproof
and instruction in righteousness. Here are-I.
Worde of War&$. Expressed in five solemn
“Woes. ‘I-l.
WOE TO TEE DISHONEST. “To him that increaseth
that which is not his own” (v. 0). This applies to the
unscrupulous master, the dishonest servant, the unsym-pathetic
miser, and to all religious hypocrites, who claim
that which is not their own.
2. WOE TO THE COVETOUS. “Him that coveteth.. . that
he may set his nest OB high” (v. 9). This is coveting for
self-display and social aggrandisement. Although such
may never gain what their vanity craves for, their sin lies
in their covetous spirit. Some may even covet the gifts
and power of a Christian brother; not that they might
bring more honour to God, but that they themselves might
get more honour from men. Beware of this woe. “Pride
goeth before a fall. ” It is lawful and wise “to covet
earnestly the best gifts” (1 Cor. 12. 31), just as a wise
workman might covet the best tools, that he might be
able to do better work for his master.
3. WOE TO TJXE OPPRESSOR. “To him that buildeth
with blood and establisheth by iniquity” (v. 12). Thank
God, the old slavery has been abolished, when verily,
cruel men built fortunes on the blood of others, and
established their stronghold by iniquity. Every nation,
every cause that is built on this policy will certainly be
smitten with the woe of the Almighty, as all past history
attests. The footsteps of every industry and every indi-vidual
life that is being built up by iniquity will be
followed by the unerring and overwhelming woe of God.
“Be sure your sin will find you out. I’.72 Handiols on Purpoee.
4. WOE M THE DECEIVER. “To him that giveth his
neighbour drink, that they might look 0% their skame”
(v. 15). This attempt to drug a neighbour, that advantage
may be taken of them is a kind of deception that has many
practitioners in our own day. Not only in giving men
drink that they might laugh at their folly, but in giving
such teaching that stupify and bring such dullness and
insensibility over the mind that the precious things of
God’s Gospel become of no vital value. And all that
they might be classed as followers with us.
5. WOE TO THE IDOLATER. “Woe unto him that saith
unto the wood, Awake, and to the dumb stone, Arise”
(v. 19). We pity the poor blinded heathen, bowing down
to the workmanship of their own hands, and worshipping
the devices of their own hearts. What better are the
worshippers of fashion, of fiction, of sport, and of purely
selfish interests ? Whatever takes the place of God in our
thoughts and lives is our dumb idol in the day of our real need.
II. Word6 of Encouragement. Here is a brilliant
star gleaming in a cloudy sky. It is the Morning Star of
Promise heralding the new day of universal blessing.
‘The earth shall be filld with the knowledge of the glmy
of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (v. 14 ; also
Isa. 11. 9). When our Lord comes again in power and
great glory, when twery eye shall see Him, and all shall
know Him, from the least unto the greatest, then shall be
fulfilled the promise given at His birth: “He shall be
great. To Him shall be given the throne of His father
David, and He shall reign, and of His kingdom there shall
be no end” (Luke 1. 30-33). Be of good cheer. As sure
as the world’s Redeemer Jzus come, so surely will the
world’s Kingly Deliverer appear; when all por@ti shall be
given Him on the earth, and when the kingdoms of this
world shall become tkc Kingdom of OUT God and of His
Anointed..Old Testament Outlines. 73
The closing verse of this part of the prophecy gives US
another peace-assuring statement. “The Lord is in His
Holy Temple ; let all the earth keep siltme before Him. ”
The conditions of the worId when the K ING of kilzgs
appears will be tumult and uproar. Here is His call for
SILENCE. “Let all the earth keep silence before Him. ”
What a solemn, holy hush, when all the eart?t is silent
before Him. The noise of battle, the war of traffic, the
strife of tongues, the clamour of scepticism: every dis-cordant
note in His ear silenced. Peace on earth, gooclwill
among men, and glory to God.
THE SECRET OF ABIDING JOY.
HABAKKUK 3. 17, 18.
THIS old prophet with the crooked name had the secret
of a happy life. And here it is for you: “Although the
fig tree shall not blossom, ” etc., “yet I will rejoice in the
Lord. ” The meaning is: Although the’chaldeans invade
the land and bum up the vineyards and oliveyards, hinder
the harvest, steal the flocks, and rob me pf every earthly
possession ; yet I will rejoice in the Lord. Will you and I
say that in the day of calamity ?
I. The Christian has Joy. “I will rejoice. ” Chris-tianity
is not a system of melancholy. Many Christians
may have long faces, but every true believer in God has a
joyful heart. The joy of the Christian is not that super-ficial
kind of mirth that finds expression only in “roars of
laughter. ” It is more like the calm of the settled water
in the deep sea, undisturbed by those elements that con-stantly
affect the surface. “The peace of God that passeth
all understanding. ”
II. This Joy is in the Lord. “I will rejoice in the
Lord. “ This joy implies knowIedge. You cannot rejoice
in the Lord unless you know Him. If you knew Him you
VOL. X. 6.74 Handfuls on Purpoee,
would love Him. If you loved Him you would rejoice in
Him. We cannot rejoice in God as we ought until we have
found in Him that which satisfies every desire of the heart,
and fills up every longing of the new-born life. See that
little dog creeping over to that sunny spot of the carpet.
How it rejoices in the sunshine. The reason why SO many
Christians are not filled with joy is because they don’t
abide in the bright warmth of the Koly Spirit. Friends,
the Cross of Christ is the only bright spot on earth where
guilty men can share the joy and happiness of Heaven.
III. This Joy is the Joy of Salvation. Habakkuk
says here, “I will joy in the God of my salvation. ” “How
is it that you are always so happy, Annie ? ” asked a
visitor who had called and marked the little girl’s bright-ness.
“Oh I ” she said, “I am happy because I am for-given.
‘ * After the Israelites had passed through the Red
Sea, they struck up the Song of Salvation (Exod. 15. 1).
How can they help from singing who have been saved.
Jonah was in a sore plight when swallowed by the great
fish, with the weeds of the deep wrapt round his head-the
picture of a lost man. But he cried unto God out of the
belly of this Hell. The Lord heard and saved him. Then
how gladly he sang “Salvation is of the Lord. ” Salvation
has two sides-the manward and the Godward. Your
side is to repent and believa. God’ s side is to regenerate
and restore (John 3. 7-16). You cannot regenerate your
own soul, but God will if you believe. You are com-manded
to repent and believe the Gospel. This you can
do if you will, and you will perish if you don’t. Let me
say further that-IV.
This is the Joy of Anticipation. In verse 19
we read: “He will make my feet like hind’s feet, to walk
upon mine high places. ” The Christian life is not only
one of happiness, but also of progress. A climbing from
one high place of grace to another. It is not a grasping.Old Testament Outlines. 75
at gaudy bubbles that vanish with the touch, but the
laying hold of spiritual certainties. For this feet like the
hind’s feet are needed. I understand that the peculiarity
of the hind’s feet is that they not only rest on the rocks,
, but’ cling to them, so that they can easily stand on high
-c places. Such represent the feet of faith that rests on and
cling to the great and precious promises of God. The
Christian’s prospects are mountains high. The hope of
the wicked shall perish.
V. Tht Joy is Independent of Earthly Possessions.
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, ” etc., “yet will
I rejoice in the Lord. ” Although I am stripped naked of
every earthly thing, yet will I joy in the God of my
salvation. You see, beloved brethren, that the joys of the
believer are not in the things of this world, but indepen-dent
of them. Old Job could say, “Though He slay me,
yet will I trust in Him. ”
JOHN BRADFORD, while in Newgate prison, the night
before he was burned at Smithfield, swung himself on his
bedpost with great glee, saying to his brother martyr:
“Fine shining we shall make to-morrow when the flame is
kindled.” Was he mad ? No. He was rejoicing in the Lord,
Do you know the Lord like that? Have you found in
Him your all, your everything ? A poor negro slave, who
was once asked if he was never unhappy, said: “When
all de world are saying, ‘Dis is my house, ’ ‘Dat is my
cottonfield, ’ I just look up and say, ‘Dare is my house,
and dare is my Saviour,’ and when I own de Lord me tinks
I own eberyting. ” He rejoiced in the God of his salvation.
If you are an unhappy Christian it is because you know so
little of your Lord. The joys of the worldling are like the
flash of a rocket that glares for a moment and is gone.
The joy of the true believer is like a star in the Heavens-it
abides for life ; it abides for ever. “The joy of the Lord
is your strength. ”.76 Handfuls on Purpose.
THE BLESSINGS OF THE LORD.
ZEPHANIAH 3. 10-20.
THE blessings here promised are, of course, for Israel,
and will be completely fulfilled when the Lord will bring
full deliverance to His waiting people at His Second
Coming. But the spiritual import is for God’s people in
every age. Shall we look at-I.
What He hath Done. In the light of our own
experience as Christians.
1. HE HATH TAKEN AWAY THY JUDGMENTS (v. 15).
The judgment hanging over us like a thick cloud, because
of sin, He hath taken away because of the Cross. “There
is therefore stow no condemnation to them who are in
Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8. 1). The judgment is past, and the
true light now shineth upon the forgiven soul.
2. HE HATH CAST OUT THINE ENEMY (v, 15). He hath
dislodged that wicked spirit that still worketh in the
children of disobedience. Satan’s sphere of operation is
now outside the citadel of the justified soul. Therefore
keep thy gates closed against him, and yield not to
temptation.
3. HE IS IN THE MIDST OF THEE (v. 15). The Mightier
Spirit has come to take possession. He shall be with
’ you and irt you (John 14. 17). Greater is He that is
irt you than he that is irt the world. Ye are more than
conquerors through Him. “God is in the midst of her,
she shall not be moved. ” “Lo, I am with you alway,
even unto the end of the age. ”
II. What He Will Do. God is in the midst of thee.
1. HE WILL SAVE (v. 17). The salvation of God is a
past, present, and future deliverance. One great whole
in His eternal purpose. Don’t we need a daily salvation
from sin and folly, from doubting and fearfulness, from
spiritual apathy and ignorance, from self-assertiveness.Old Testament Outlines. 77
and fruitless testimony? He will save. There is none
other Name under Heaven whereby we can be so saved.
2. HE WILL R EJOICE O VER THEE WITH J OY (v. 17).
Yes, those who are daily being fully saved bring gladness
to the Saviour’s heart. The Lord will not rejoice over a
spoiled thing, or a marred vessel, or a professedly Christian
life that is failing to fulfil His high and holy purpose.
If your life is a sacrtice of joy unto the Lord you may
rest assured that “He will rejoice over thee. ” “We joy
in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5. 11).
3. HE WILL REST IN HIS LOVE (v. 17). Oh, the sweet-ness
of this thought, that our God can find rest in the
greatness of His love for us: that love that never faileth,
and is stronger than death. He will, and does, rest in
that love that gave His beloved Son to the death for us all.
Rest in His love as seen in the willilzg sacrifice offered by
His Son. Rest in the triumph of that love that bringeth
salvation to all men. What a resting place this is for our
own hearts, now and ever. Rest in HIS LOVE, not in
our own.
III. What We Should Do.
1. PRAISE HIS BLESSED NAME. “Sing, 0 daughter of
Zion. Shout 0 Israel. Be glad and rejtice with all the
heart” (v. 14). “Oh that men would praise the Lord for
His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children
of men” (Psa. 107. 15). In that day Israel will be “made
a praise among all people of the earth” (v. 20). For many
generations they have been a “sneer and a byword”
among the nations, but their “crowning day is coming, ”
when their King and the Church’s Redeemer shall take
unto Himself His right and reign over the whole earth.
0 Christian, be glad and rejoice with all your heart, for
He hath done great things for thee. For he Itath delivered
in the past, He dotk deliver in the present, and will yed
deliver (2 Cor. I. 10). Thanks be unto God..78 Handfuls on Purpose.
2. FEAR NOT. “Fear thou not” (v. 16). There is no
place for fearfulness and uncertainty in the Economy of
Divine Grace. He who planned the Heavens, and the
whole scheme of man’ s salvation, and the movements of
an atom, will not fail His own trusting children. “He h&h
said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. So that WC
may boldly say, The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear”
(Heb. 13. 5-6).
3. BE DILIGENT IN SERVICE. “Let not thine hands be
slack” (v. 16). Slack hands are an evidence of slack hearts. Slackness in God’ s work is a prevailing weakness
among His people. The “go slow” policy is largely
practised in the ranks of Christian workers. Whatsoever
thy hand finds to do, do it heartily as unto the Lord. Let
us seek to serve our gracious Master just as if He were
standing by our side looking on, and waiting to receive
the finished article.
CONSIDER YOUR WAYS,
HAGGAI 1. 3-10.
THUS saith the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways” (v. 5). This call comes to His thoughtless, diIatory, procrastin-ating
people. Let us hear it as coming to ourselves. Is
there not a tendency with us to be slack, and backward
in facing facts. Consider your ways-I.
In Relation to God’ s Cause.
1. They said, “THE TIME IS NOT COME to build the
Lord’ s house ” (v. 2). How ready we are at times to
postpone the things we should do for the cause of Christ.
We feel we should consecrate ourselves to God, but “the
time is not come, ” or that we should make an offering to
some missionary enterprise but “the time is not come. ”
The time to help on God’ s work is an ever present oppor.
tunity. “Consider your ways. ”.Old Testament Outlines. 79
2. “They dwelt in THEIR OWN CEILED HOUSES, while
HIS HOUSE LAY WASTE” (v. 4). They were content that
their own personal interests were prosperous, while the
house of the Lord was in ruins. Just as there are many
professing Christians to-day satisfied with material
things, while the cause of Christ languisheth for lack of
faith and personal effort. “Is it nothing to you, all ye
that pass by ? ” “Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God. ”
“Consider your ways”-II.
In View of the Results of your Labours.
1. “Ye have SOWN MUCH, and bring in LITTLE” (v. 6).
We who are ministers of His Word have much need to lay
this reminder to heart. There is something sadly wrong
where there is much sowing and little reaping. Is it the
sower or the seed that is to be blamed ? Or is the cause of
failure the blighting breath of God’s disapproval? For
it is “God who giveth the increase. ” Those who sow much
of the seed of the Word of God, and bring in little, have
need to “consider their ways, ” for such results are not in
harmony with God’s purpose.
2. YE „EAT AND HAVE NOT ENOUGH” (v. 6). This is
the s@rittial condition of multitudes. They have a keen
appetite for the things of this life-wealth, position,
honour, and the praise of men. They are constantly
eating, but never satisfied. They cannot say, like Esau,
“I have enough. ” Hungry souls, but will not take the
true “Bread of Life” that they may have the life which is
for ever (John 6. 51).
3. YE “CLOTHEYOU, BUTTHEREISNONEWARM” (v. 6).
They wrap themselves up in the Aimsy garments of their
own righteousness, and complain of the cold. There is
nothing like the “Righteousness of God, which is unto all
and @ON all them that believe, ” for keeping the heart
warm in the cold season of adverse circumstances. Put.80 Handfuls on Purpose.
ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and His righteousness, and
the glow of His Presence will keep you warm.
4. YE PUT YOUR “WAGES IN A BAG WITH HOLES” (V. 6).
The wages you have earned by the efforts of your pride
and self-seeking become of no practical value to your soul.
“The wages of sin is death. ” Death is a bag with tre-mendous
holes in it. Every ungodly thing will fall
through it. “Consider your ways”-III.
In View of the Work to be Done,
1. THE WORK. “Build the house, and I will take
pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord”
(v. 8). The house of the Lord was the Tem$le at Jerusalem
which stood for worship and testimony. The Church of
God, which is the “Body of Christ, ” stands for worship
and witnessing. It is a spiritual temple, built with
spiritual stones. That building is now going on, and we
are called to be fellow-workmen tog&&r l&h Him (2 Cor.
6. 1, marghz). Our work then is to build this holy temple
of the Lord in which He will take pleaswe and be glorified.
If we have been in any way indifferent to this Divine
purpose, let us “consider our ways. m
2. THE MATERIAL. “Go up to the mountain and bring
wood” (v. 8). The temple at Jerusalem could not be
built with high and noble thoughts or eloquent speakers,
they must have timber. “Go, bring wood. ” The great
spiritual temple of which Christ is the Foundation, cannot
be built \irith mere formal prayers, or powerless sermons,
or social activities. A spiritua1 building needs spiritual
stones, souls quickened by the Holy Spirit of God, “built
upon the foundation of the apostles, fitly framed together,
growing unto an holy temple of the Lord” (Eph. 2. 19-22).
But where are these living stones to come from ? “Go @
to the mountains” and bring them. They had to go up,
probably to Mount Lebanon, for the wood. We must go.Old Testament Outlines. 81
up to Mount Calvary if we would secure what is needful
for the building of this holy temple of the Lord. To win
souls for Christ we need personal cleansing, personal con-secration,
and a personal enduement of the sacrificial
spirit of Jesus. “He that winneth souls is wise. ” In
considering your ways, take time to consider God’s ways.
THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS.
HAGGAI 2. 6-9.
ALL agree that the reference here is to the Coming of the
Messiah. But the bivtk of Christ was not heralded by a
universal “shakiltg, ” but rather, we are told that there was
universal peace at the first Christmas. So the reference
must be to His Yecolzd Appearing. Note, then-I.
The Condition of the Nations at His Second
Coming. “I will shake the Heavens, the earth, the sea,
and the dry land. And I will shake all aations” (vv. 6, 7).
Convulsions in nature, and nations being shaken to pieces
by internal strife. Our daily newspapers are giving us
abundant evidence of this shaking process in operation.
“I will overturn, overturn, overturn, until He ~011~6
whose right it is” (Ezek. 21. 27). We are not warranted
to look for a converted world before He comes, but for
these signs (see Luke 21. 25-28). And when these things
begiN to come to pass, then look up, for your redemption
draweth nigh. “Distress of nations, ” and “Men’s hearts
failing them for feav” are the warning signals of His near
approach.
II. The Desire of All Nations shall Come. But do
all nations, as nations, desire the coming of the Lord?
There is no evidence of this. This word “desire” is of
peculiar significance. According to Dr. Young, the word
in the Hebrew only occurs in one other place in the Bible
(1 Sam. 9. 20), where the sense seems to be, “They desired.82 Handfuls on Purpose.
the things which a wise and mighty ruler would bring. ”
“The desirable things of all nations shall come : and I will
fill this house with glory” (v. 7, R.v.). The nations, as
such, do not desire the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ,
but mutely long for the things which Christ alone can
bring.
1. As A MEDIATOR. One to stand between the wrongs
of men and the rights of God. His Presence would do more
for peace than a “League of all Nations, ” He will be the
God-appointed and final Arbiter in all the controversies
of earth.
2. As A DELIVERER . “There shall come out of Zion THE
DELIVERER ” (Rom. 11. 26). All national enemies have
their stronghold in the hcavts of men. All that is in
the world at enmity with God lies in the human heart.
A Deliverer is’ needed. When we think of the age-long
blindness of the Jewish nation, of the problem of racial
hatred, of a rapidly growing heathendom, of the growing
army of “seducing spirits, ” and the comparative impo-tency
of the Church to win the world for Christ. But
when He Comes, “All nations shall bow down before Him. ”
3. As A PHYSICIAN. He alone can heal all our diseases :
all the running sores in our social, industrial, commercial,
and national life. His Presence will be a balm for every
wound. No one shall say, “I am sick. ”
4. As A KING. When He came as Redeemer it was in
lowliness and weakness ; but when He comes as KING it
will be in kingly fashion-with “great power and glory. ”
Then shall He judge the poor and save the needy. Then
shall His Presence be like rain upon the mown grass, and
as showers that water the earth. Then in His days shall
there be abundance of peace. Then shall the heathen that
dwell in the wiIderness bow before Him. Then shall His
enemies lick the dust. Then shall all kings fall down..
Old Testament Outlinee. 83
before Him, and all nations serve Him. Then shall He
redeem from deceit and violence. Then shall be given
unto Him the gold of Sheba, and daily shall He be praised.
Then shall His Name be continued, and all nations shall
call Him blessed. Then shall the whole earth be filled
with His glory. Amen and Amen (Psa. 72). “Even so,
come, Lord Jesus. ”
THE UNFIT PREPARED.
ZECHARIA~~ 3. 1-5.
JOSHUA, the high priest, may be regarded as a symbolic
character, representing the degraded priesthood as a whole
at that time. We may regard it as a parable of how
defiled Christians may- be restored,
Lord’s service.
I. The Cause of His Unfitneee.
1. He had FILTHY GARMENTS (v.
represent the outward and visible
and fitted for the
3). The garmmts
expression of his
character. When the outward life-our acts and deeds-condemn
our profession, then our garments are unclean,
and we become unfit for His holy service. Pure religion,
and undefiled before God, is to keep hitimself wq!mthd
from the world (Jas. 1. 27).
2. He was like “A BRAND IN THE FIRE” (v. 2). Fire,
like sin, usually has small beginnings. “By olae man sin
entered into the world. ” A brand is a fit subject for the
iire. A man whose character has become filthy in the light
of God becomes a fit subject for the blackening and con-suming
power of sin. Like a brand, he is helpless in the
fire.
3. He had an ADVERSARY STANDING BY TO R ESIST
(v, 1). Satan, our adversary, is always “standing by, ”
ready to resist any efforts that might be made for our
deliverance from uncleanness, and salvation from our.84 Handfuls on Purpose.
unfitness for the work of our Lord. “Your adversary the
Devil” is pleased with your stained garments, and is a
standing enemy to the transforming grace of God.
II. The Manner of His Deliverance. “The angel
of the Lord stood by” (v. 5). Perhaps the “Angel of the
Covenant, ” the Son of God, to see that Satan was resisted,
and that this poor, unclean, and disqualified servant
might by the all-sufficient grace of God be cleansed and
restored. For here grace reigns.
1. He was FORGIVEN. “I have caused thine iniquity
to pass from thee” (v. 4). Forgiveness is our f&t need as
sinners and our first need as backsliders. Because all sin
is against God. Sin is the transgression of His law and
of His love. If we lose our fellowship with God, we lose
our power for Him. But we have a God who is ready to
Pardon (Psa. 86. 5).
2. He was CLEANSED. “Take away the filthy garments
from him” (v. 4). How inconsistent it would be for any
one claiming to have received the forgiveness of God and
yet continuing to wear garments that are filthy in the eyes
of their fellow-men. “Put off the old man with his deeds”
(Col. 3. 9). Filthy garments are not to be covered over,
but taken away.
3. He was CLOTHED WITH CHANGE OF RAIMENT (v. 4).
What a change, when we get rid of our soiled and tom
garments, and receive that robe of righteousness which
Christ alone can bestow. That righteousness which puts
us right with God and right for our priestly o&e in
making intercession in His Name for others. Be clothed
with humility.
4. He had A FAIR MITRE SET UPON HIS HEAD (v. 5).
The mitre was the crown of his priesthood, the symbol
of Divine authority. All God’s cleansed and clothed ones
are crowned with honour. The holy anointing oil was put.Old Testament Outlines. 85
upon the mitred head. “Upon man’s flesh shall it not be
poured” (Exod. 30. 32). We should ever remember that
the anointing of the Holy Spirit comes upon what God
Himself hath given.
III. The Renewed Promise. After the cleansing
and crowning comes the new purpose. There must now be :
1. A NEW WALK. “Walk in My ways” (v. 7). Hitherto
the Lord could say, “My ways are not your ways, neither
are your ways My ways. ” Because there was no agreemed
they could not walk together. But now, cleansed in heart
and renewed in mind, the only path to be chosen was the
“New and living way, ” as revealed in His Word: the way
of faith and willing obedience to the truth. Jesus Christ
said : “I am the Way. Follow Me. He that followeth
Me shall not walk in darkness” (John 14. 6 ; 8. 12).
2. NEW MOTIVES. “Thou wilt keep My charge”
(v. 7). “Thou shalt be faithful unto Me in the work to
which you are called. ” The new man in Christ Jesus has
new motive springs in his soul, His chief desire is to
honour his Lord, and to keep true to His charge as revealed
in His Word, that God might work in him both to will and
to do of His good pleasure (Eph. 2. 13). Paul’ s one motive
was: “To me to live is Christ” (Eph. 1. 21). All who are
crowned with the mitre of holiness will be able gladly to
say: “Not I, but Christ. ”
THE SUPREMACY OF THE SPIRITUAL.
ZECI~ARIAH 4. 1-7.
THIS vision of the Candlestick, or Lampstand, teaches us
that there is in God’s purpose a real and vital relationship
between spiritual and visible things. We might look at
this vision in connection with-1.
The Temple of God as a Witness. The temple.86 Handfuls on Purpose.
was not yet built, but’ God saw it already as a perfected
thing, as the prophet saw the Golden Candlestick-com-p&
e with its bowls, and lamps, and pipes ; with its oil,
and the two olive trees standing by as living, unfailing
source of supply for the lamps. This is what the temple
of God was to be for His people: a witness for Him. But
a lampstand is not all that was needed. There must be
lamps and a plentiful supply of oil if light is to shine.
Without the oil (emblems of the Holy Spirit) even a
goZdc?z lampstand might become a stumblingblock. SO
the message of this vision is: “Not by might, nor by
power, but by MY SPIRIT, saith the Lord of Hosts” (v. 6).
How applicable this truth is to-II.
The Church of God as a Witness. The secret of
the Church’s power lies in the constant flow of the Holy
Spirit. This Spirit, like the oil, comes from the living
and abiding Sources, the Father and the Son (John 14.
16-18). Let us give heed to Jehovah’s warning that this
building is not to be reared by mere human might or
power, but by His Spirit. In these days there are many
substitutes for the power of God’s mighty Spirit in doing
Christian work. Some trust the power of money, some
education, some organisation, some legislation, and some
the power of numbcvs. None of these are to be despised,
but none of them, nor all of them together, can do the
work or take the place of the Holy Spirit. None of these
can concoct the world of sin, or righteousness, and of judg-ment.
None of these can quicken a dead soul into newness
of life and reveal the things of Christ. None of these can
clothe the message of the Gospel with @or&~ to win souls for
Christ. None of these can be a “Comforter” to the troubled
spirit or make intercession for us with unutterable groan-in@.
None of these can breathe the breath of life over a
valley of dead bones (Ezek. 37. 9). In this great God
honouring work it is the SPIRIT that quickeneth, the flesh.Old Testament Outlines. 87
profiteth nothing. The secret of the Church’s power is
the operation of the Holy 5fiyit. What is true of the Church
as a whole is true of the individual life. “Not by might,
nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts. ”
“Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come
upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto Me” (Acts 1. 8).
“Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?”
(Acts 19. 2).
BEHOLD THE BRANCH.
ZECHARIAH 6. 9-15.
WE believe that there is here-I.
A Symbolic Representation. Joshua is here
again brought before us in a symbolic fashion. In chapter
3 we have seen him in filthy garments, then forgiven,
cleansed, and adorned with a fair mitre, and so equipped
for the holy office as high priest. Now he has golden
crowns, or a composite crown, put upon his head, bestowing
on him kingly honows; by which he becomes a true type
of the Coming Christ, who would be both Priest arca K&g,
after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 5. 6).
II. A Prophetic Announcement. “Behold the Man
whose name is THE BRANCH. ” “The Branch’” is one of the
most significant of Messiah’s Names. A branch bears the
fruit and reveals the character of the tree. Christ as
Jehovah’s Branch, revealed by His words and deeds the
true character of His Father. Jesus said, “I am the Vine,
ye are the branches, ” the fruit-bearing part of the vine.
Just as if God should say: “I am the True Vine, and Jesus
Christ is the Branch, from which My fruit is found. ” All
the blessings that hang on this Branch for our present and
future life are the outcome of the love of the Eternal
Father. As a Son, Christ is a true and fruitful Branch of
the Godhead. 0 the multitudes who have sat under the.88 Handfuls on Purpose.
shadow of this Branch with great delight! Note what is
said of the Branch as a Person-1.
“HE SHALL GROW UP OUT OF HIS PLACE” (v. 12).
His place was a lowly one : me of humility, sorrow, shame,
rejection, and crucifixion, and burial in a borrowed grave.
But He grew q5. “Up from the grave He arose. ” He grew
up, and ~9, till He vanished out of sight and reached the
Throne of the Heavens (Luke 24. 51). His cause shall yet
grow up,
2. “HE SHALL BUILD THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD “ (v. 13).
He shall build and see the completion of that great spiritual
temple, “the Church of God, ” which will be a witness in
the ages to come to the redemptive power of His own
precious Blood (Isa. 53. 11).
3. “HE SHALL BEAR THE GL O RY. ” The glory of the
new temple shall be all 012 Himself. He who bore the
burden of our sins, and of the Cross, shall bear the glory
that was to follow (Heb. 2. 9). The government and the
glory shall be upon His shoulder (Isa. 9. 6).
4. HE “SHALL S IT AND R ULE UPON H IS T H R O NE”
(v, 13). He had His Cross, and He will have His Thyorce.
He was cast out by rulers on earth, but He will yet rule
the nations of the earth. His Kingdom shall be the king-doms
of the world (Rev. 11. 15).
5. “HE SHALL BE A PRIEST UPON HIS THRONE” (v. 13).
mat a blessed combination, K&g and Priest, an En-thyon&
Priest, a King to govern His people and subdue
His enemies; a Priest crowned to bear His people’s needs
before the Throne of His Almighty Father. The King
rules, the Priest intercedes.
6. THE COUNSEL OF PEACE SHALL BE BETWEEN THEM
BOTH. What is that which lies betweela the King and the
Priest? Literally, it may be difficult to define, but in a
spiritual sense, in connection with the character of our.Old Testament Outlines. 89
Great High Priest, the meaning is by no means obscure
to the spiritually enlightened. Christ, our High Priest,
offered Himself a Sacrifice for our sins on the Cross. Christ,
our Coming King, will yet make His redeemed ones kings
and priests to reign on the earth (Rev. 5. 9, 10). The
counsel and message of peace and power comes from
between, or belonging to both the Cross and the Throne.
FORMAL WORSHIP AND POWERLESS PRAYERS.
ZECHARIAH 7. 4-14.
THE Temple at Jerusalem was in process of building,
when the question was asked : “Shall I weep and separate
myself as I have done these so many years ? ” (v. 3). Here
we have the Lord’s answer, which is a charge against
them of mere
I. Formal Worship. Formality in worship, or
trusting in the form, is alas, very prevalent.
1. HYPOCRITICAL FASTING. The Lord asks : “When ye
fasted and mourned, did ye at all fast unto Me?” (v. 5).
When they fasted it was not that they might get into
closer fellowship with God, but, like the hypocrites in our
Lord’s time, that they might appear unto men to fast
(Matt. 6. 16-18). It is possible in many things to deny
ourselves for the glory of ozlrselves in the eyes of others.
2. SELFISHNESS IN EATING AND DRINKING. “Ye eat
and drink f07yourselves” (v. 6). How little do we think
that in our ordinary, every-day “eating and drinking”
we should do all to theglory of God (1 Cor. 10. 31) ; thanking
Him for such mercies that help to strengthen us for His
work. Even at the Lord’s table we may eat and drink
judgment on our own soul by not discern&g the Lord’s
body (1 Cor. 11. 29). Our worthiness for this is not in our
moral goodness, but in our sj%itual discernment.
3v0~yy OF THE WORD OF THE LORD. “Should ye
. ..90 Handfuls on Purpose.
not hear the words which the Lord hath cried? ” (v. 7).
The formalist allows no special value for the Word of the
Lord, but is very punctilious about outward acts and
ceremonies. He or she may carry a Bible or Prayer Book
to Church, but they seldom or never seriously read it, or
offer up their own desires unto God (1 John 5. 15). Such
have need to pray the prayer of Duncan Mathieson : “Lord,
stamp Eternity on my eyeballs. ”
II. Powerless Prayers. There are prayers that are
powerless, because God will not listen to them (v. 13), and
because they come from dishonest and hardened hearts
(v. 12). Note some of the causes of failure, as recorded
here-1.
THERE WAS A LACK OF MERCY AND CO~~PASSION.
“Shew mercy and compassion every man to his brother”
(v. 9). Our attitude to our fellowmen has much to do
with the helping or hindering of our prayers. “First be
reconciled to thy brother, then offer thy gifts” (Matt.
5. 24). We incur God’s displeasure if we fvorn the hecart
forgive not every one his brother (Matt. 18. 35). He that
loveth God must love his brother also (1 John 4. 21).
2. THEY OPPRESSED THE HELPLESS. “Oppress not the
widow, the fatherless, nor the poor” (v. 10). TO take
advantage of those because of their helplessness is a
blatant insult to the God who “delighteth in mercy. ”
Surely that man’s religion is in vain (Jas. 1. 27).
3. THERE WAS EVIL THINKING. Imagining evil against
another in your heart (v. IO). Thoughts are naked things
before God. Evil thoughts against your brother will
poison your prayers. As a man thinketh in his heart, SO
is he before God. “The pure in heart shall see God. ”
4. THEY REFUSED TO HEARKEN TO THE WORDS which
the Lord hath sent (vv. 12, 13). To refuse to hear the
voice of His written Word is to close the door of the heart.Old Testament Outlines. 91
against Heaven’s benediction. “If you will not hear My
cry, neither will I hear your cry, saith the Lord of Hosts”
(v. 13).
5. T HE F INAL R ESULT of Unanswered Prayers. A
grieved God, scattered hopes, bondage and desolation
(v. 14). “Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss
that ye may consume what you get @on your own I&s”
(Jas. 4. 3). The remedy for all this is given us in James
4. S-10,
0 JERUSALEM ! JERUSALEM I
ZECHARIAH 8. 20-23.
JESUS looked on the city and wept over it, saying: “0
Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets. . . how often
would I have gathered thy children together: and ye would
not. Behold your house is left unto you desolate. Ye
shall not see Me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is
He that comcth in the Name of the Lord” (Matt. 23. 37-39).
In this prophecy Zechariah gives us the vision of Jerusalem
r@ored, the Presetice of the Lord, and the gathering
together of her children.
I. The Centre of Attraction. The Holy City (v. 22).
Glorious things are spoken of thee, 0 Jerusalem, the city
of the Great King. But the attraction was not the city as
such, but the fact that “The Lord Himself had suddenly
come to dwell among them” (Mal. 3, 1). What is the chief
attraction in our modem religious assemblies ? Is it the
gorgeous building, the fine music, or the eloquent preacher ?
The true aim would be: “Sirs, we would see Jesus. ”
II. The Gathering of the People. “Many peoples
and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord in Jeru-salem”
(v. 22, R.v.). What a stirring among the “dry
bones” this will be. The Shiloh in Kingly Power has
come, and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.92 Handfuls on Purpose.
(Gen. 49. 10). What a holy, Christ-honouring convocation
this will be. Sectarianism will have no place in that day.
Paul says: “We beseech you, brethren, by the Coming of
ow Lord, and by our gathering together unto Him, that ye
be not shaken in mind” (2 Thess. 2. 1).
III. The Purpose of this Gathering. “Let us go
speedily to pray before the Lovd” (v. 21). “They shall come
to seek the Lord and to pray” (v. 22). In those revival
days shall ten men (perhaps Gentiles) take hold of a Jew,
saying, “We will go with you for we have heard that God
is with you” (v. 23). They heard, they believed a nd
obeyed. No one will be able, sneeringly, to say on that day,
that this Gospel is a failure. Great cities, peoples, and
nations flocking to Him, like doves to their windows.
In our own days we have a glorious message for every
creature from the lips of this same Lord : “Come unto Me. ”
But with what indifference the tidings is heard. Oh, how
much we need the power of the outpoured Spirit, that
many may seek the Lord and pray before Him.
IV. The Blessing to Follow. “He shall speak p&e
unto the nations, and His dominion shall be from sea to
sea, even to the ends of the earth” (chap. 9. 10). He shall
speak peace to the nations, as He spoke peace to the winds
and waves on the Sea of Galilee; and His peace-speaking
word shall resound to the uttermost parts of the earth.
We pray now, “Thy kingdom come. ” Then His kingdom
will have come, and His will being done on earth. Then
shall they say: “How great is His goodrtess, ” and “HOW
great is His beauty” (chap. 9. 17). They shall look upon
Him whon they have despised and pierced, and mourn ; but
also be constrained to say, “How great is His beauty. ”
The Christ we trust is the embodiment of the Divine
fulness. May we so trust Him that the “beauty of
the Lord ” may be upon us. Walk worthy of your.Old Testament Outlines. 93
high calling, knowing that the happy day is coming
when “Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty”
(Isa. 33. 17).
A HEART-RENDING DISCOVERY.
ZECHARIAH 12. 10-14; 13. 1.
HERE are four great realities in connection with the
Second Coming of the Lord.
I. A Precious Opportunity. “I will pour upon the
house of David.. . the Spirit of Grace and of Supplications”
(v. 10). This Spirit of Grace can only come from the “God
of all Grace, ” and when this Spirit comes He convinces
of sin and the need of making supplications unto God,
in view of the great revelation that is to follow. Every
revival is an evidence of this. We now are living in the
days of the poured out Spitit (Acts 2. 16). Days of grace
and of personal responsibility. “Behold, now is the
accepted time. ” Days of preparation for the appearing
of the Lord.
II. A Great Revelation. “They shall look upon Me
whom they have pierced” (v. 10). This will be a heart-breaking
sight to the house of David, whose rulers, 1900
years ago, despised and rejected, saying, “We will not
have this Man to reign over zcs, ” and clamoured for His
crucifixion. And all these long ages they, as a nation,
have been the bitter enemies of Jesus. In that day “this
same Jesus” (Acts 1. 11) shall appear bearing the marks
of His Cross in His hands. And one shall say unto Him:
“What are these wounds in Thine hands?” (chap. 13. 6).
Ah, these woululs are the marks of His identity with the
Man who was nailed to a Cross, of whom their fathers
cried, “Let Him be crucified. ” Shall that be the time
“when a nation shall be born in a day?” Something
like this happens when a sin-smitten soul gets its first.94 Handfuls on Purpose,
look of Jesus as their sin-bearer. He died for me. My
sins were there at the nailing of Christ to the tree. The
wounds in His hands, even in His glorified body (John
20. 20) will remain through all Eternity, as a witness to
the triumphs of His death.
III. A Real Repentance. “They shall mourn and be
in bitterness, as one that mourneth for his only son.
Every family shall mourn apart” (w. 11-13). Their
blindness and unbelief have been great; now they have
discovered their awful guilt in murdering their own
longed-for MESSIAH. What a hallowed time this will be
in Jerusalem, when in every home there will be the
voice of confession, and tears of penitence. While at
the same time a deep well of new-found holy joy
springing up in their hearts. Their long-looked-for
Messiah has come, and brought deliverance (Rom.
11. 26). Like Joseph’s brethren, they sold Him, then
saw Him clothed with power and glory, and then
were saved by Him (Acts 5.31). True repentance needs
no repentance.
IV. A Great Salvation. „In that day there shall be
a fountain opened to the house of David.. .for sin and
uncleanness” (chap. 13. 1). In that day, when “blood
and water” ilowed from the pierced side of the crucified
Christ, a fountain was opened for a whole humanity for
sin and uncleanness. “The dying thief rejoiced to
see that fountain in his day, ” and many a living thief
has rejoiced at the same vision. When the Lord
comes and sits upon the throne of His father David,
and when His Word shall go forth from Jerusalem (Isa.
2. 3), then shall there be a fountain opened for the
nation’s sin and uncleanness. Meanwhile we rejoice in
the truth that the grace of God, that bringeth salva-tion
to all men, hath appeared, teaching us to deny.Old ‘b8tfUmnt Outlines. 95
ungodliness and to look for that blessed hope, the glorious
appearing of the great God, our Saviour Jesus Christ
(Titus 2. 11-13).
THE SECOND ADVENT AND SOME OF ITS
ACCOMPANIMENTS.
ZECH.~RIAH 14.
IN this chapter the prophet sees what might be regarded
as the final assurance to that prayer taught by our Lord:
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on sarth” (Matt.
6. 10).
I. The Manner of His Coming.
1. IT WILL BE PERSONAL. “His feet shall stand in that
day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem”
(v. 4). Some tell us that His feet are not to be taken
literally. Might they not as well say that He Himself,
or the Mount of Olives, are not to be taken literally ?
It is “the Lord Himself” that is to descend from Heaven.
It is “this same Jesus” that was seen to go up that is “in
like manner” coming again (1 Thess. 4. 16; Acts 1. 11).
It should be remembered that it was while He was making
the descent of the Momt of Olives, riding on an ass, that
the multitude of His disciples began to praise God, saying :
“Blessed be the King that cometh in the Name of the
Lord. Peace in Heaven and glory in the highest” (Luke
19. 37-38). What a forecast this is of that day when “His
feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives” as King of nations.
2. IT WILL BE AS K ING OF THE E A R TH. “The Lord
shall be King over all the earth” (v. 9). In that day there
shall be One Lord, and His Name One. There shall be
no room for any other when He comes ; for in His times
He shall show who is the blessed and ONLY POTENTATE,
King of kings, and Lord of lords. To whom be honour
and power everlasting. Amen (1 Tim. 6. 15-16). It is..
96 Handfuls on Purpose.
worthy of note that the term Potentate occurs nowhere else
in the Scriptures. In that day the kingdoms of this world
will be compelled to acknowledge no ruler save Jesus
only. His Name shall be above every name, and at His
Name every knee shall bow (Isa. 45. 23). The nations
were never in greater need of leadership than they are just
now. But when He comes, who is “the Wisdom and the
Power of God, ” this need will be fully met.
3. IT WILL BE WITH ALL THE HOLY ONES. “The Lord
my God shall come, and all the holy ones with Thee”
(v. 5, R.v.). While Jesus was teaching on the Mount of
Olives, He surely was making reference to this prophecy,
when He said: “The Son of Man shall come in His glory,
and all the holy angels z&h Him. Then shall He sit upon
the throne of His glory” (Matt. 25. 31). Jude also says:
“Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His
saints” (v. 14). It is not customary for kings and princes
on earth to travel alone when fulfilling a public function.
They have a retinue or train of attendants; those who are
in perfect accord with them and their mission. So “the
Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven wilh His mighty
mgels” (2 Thess. 1. 7-lo), when He shall be glorified
in His saints and admimi in all them that believe, Glorious
as His ten thousand holy and mighty attendants will be,
yet HE shall still be “the chiefest among ten thousand,
the altogether lovely. ”
II. Results which Follow His Coming. There
will be-1.
PERENNIAL BLESSING. “In that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem” (v, 8). These living waters
are symbolic of something that abundantly satisfies;
something ever fresh and abiding. They represent Divine
energy in constant activity on behalf of His ‘people.
“Everything shall live whither this river corn&h” (Bzek..Old Testament Outlines. 97
47. 9). Here is something for which civilisation can offer
no substitute. Here is a river that cannot be augmented
by any earthly tributary. Like the Gospel of God, man’s
wisdom and genius can add nothing to its value. The
living authoritative Word of the Lord “shall go out from
Jerusalem, ” as streams of blessing from the throne of His
glory.
2. UNIVERSAL WORSHIP. “Every one that is left of
all the nations shall worship the King, the Lord of Hosts”
(v. 16). “Who shall not fear Thee, 0 Lord, and glorify
Thy Name ; for all nations shall come and worship before
Thee, for Thy judgments are made malz$est” (Rev. 15. 4).
Satan tempted the Lord by offering Him the kingdoms of
this world if He would fall down and worship him (Matt.
4. 9). But now we see the kingdoms of this world wor-shipping
Him, who submitted to death, defying the Devil
and will yet cast him into the abyss (Rev. 20. 10). It is
our privilege now to worship the Lord in the beauty of
holiness (1 Chron. 16. 29). God is a Spirit, they that
worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in tn.&
God is not to be mocked.
3. CONSECRATION OF COMMON THINGS. “In that day
there shall be upon the bells of the horses, and upon every
pot in Jerusalem, holiness tinto the Lord. ‘ I Blessed day,
when “holiness unto the Lord” shall be stamped upon the
bells of the horses and on the pots and pans of the kitchen,
and upon our motor cars, city trams, railway trams, and
steamboats. When this motto will be read on the gates
of our Houses of Commons and places of industry, and on
the front door of every Exchange; when every transaction
between man and man shall have this holy seal set upon it.
Truly these will be “days of Heaven upon earth, ” when
men, because they love the Lord, will love one another,
and do all for the honour of His Holy Name. When poor-houses,
asylums, law courts, and prisons will be things.98 Handfuls on Purpose.
of the sorrowful past. If this is to be written on bells and
pots, how much more should it be inscribed on the lives
of those who have been redeemed by His Blood? HOLI-NESS
UNTO THE LORD.
A MESSAGE TO MESSENGERS.
MALACHI 2. l-9.
“AND now, 0 ye priests, this commandment is for yozl”
(v. 1). A priest was one who ministered before God on
behalf of the people. He is also called “The messenger
of the Lord” (v. 7). We who are priests unto God and
ambassadors for Christ, let us note-I.
The Messenger’s Privilege, as the messenger
of God.
1. He was to LAY TO HEART what he heavs, and to give
glory to His Name (v. 2). Our first business as ministers
of His Word is to take the truth revealed to OUY owrt hearts,
with the object of giving glory to His Name. We are to
speak what we do klzow in our own experience for the
honour of His Holy Name.
2. Hewasa REPRESENTATIVE OFDIVINETRUTH. “They
shall seek the law at his mouth” (v. 7). If we are to be
worthy of the trust of anxious inquirers, we ourselves must
be taught of God, and wear the real garments of the
priesthood-humility and godly fear.
II. The Secret of His Power. A powerless ministry
is a misrepresentation of this holy order.
1. He is ASSURED OF HIS MESSAGE. „Ye shall know
that I have sent this word a&o yozl” (v. 4). He can say:
“We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen. ”
There was no uncertain sound in his testimony. The
waverer receiveth nothing of the Lord (Jas. 1. 6, 7).
2. He is ENJOYING THE GIFT OF LIFE AND PEACE. “Life
and peace, I gave them to him” (v. 5). It is a joyful.Old Testament Outlines. 99
possession. Life in Christ and peace by the Blood of His
Cross. The joy of the Lord is your strength.
3. He has „THE LAW OF TRUTH IN HIS MOUTH” (v. 6).
When the love of God is in his heart, and the law of grace
in his mouth, he is Divinely equipped as a herald of the
Gospel of God. Life, peace, tvzlth, are an holy trinity in
Christian experience.
4. He HAS THE PRESENCE OF GOD. “He waIketh with
Me in peace and equity” (v. 6). Herein lies the secret
of all spiritual power. “Lo, I am with you. ” “Without
Me ye can do nothing, ” For fhitfukess, the presence of
God in the life is as needful as the presence of the sunshine
on the fields.
5. He HAD GOOD SUCCESS. “He did turn many away
from iniquity” (v. 6). By their &its ye shall know them.
He is WZ’ SG that winneth souls. This is not the wisdom the
world gives, but that which cometh by the presence of the
Holy Spirit of God.
II. The Cause of His Failure. There was failure,
even after such high, holy, and happy experiences. God
has made no provision for our failure ; but, alas, it comes,
and always through man’s own folly and waywardness.
“How are the mighty fallen ? ”
1. He DEPARTED FROM THE TRUTH. “Ye have departed
out of the way” (v. 8). To depart out of His way and will
is to go outside the sphere of His purpose and blessing.
It is easy to depart from His way when our thoughts begin
to wander after selfish interests.
2. He C O R R UPT ED THE C OVENANT (v. 8). Made the
Word of none effect by false interpretation. We corrupt
the Gospel when we make it conditional upon human
merit, or that the grace of God makes any allowance for
continuing in sin (Rom. 6. 1)..100 Handfuls on Purpose.
III. The Sad Result of His Failure. Such is the fall
of a backslider who has been used of God.
1. HIS BLESSINGS WERE BLIGHTED. “I will curse
your blessings” (v. 2). The gifts and graces divinely
bestowed became blighted with God’ s disapproval, even
the seed (Word) which he sows becomes as a rotten thing
(v. 3). His life becomes barren and unfruitful, like the
branch separated from the vine.
2. HE CAUSETH OTHERS TO STUMBLE. “Ye have caused
many to stumble at the law” (v. 8). How many there are
who stumble at the Gospel because of failure in professing
Christians, especially if they are preachers. Im’ qtkty in
the Christian life is always a stumbling-block (Ezek. 7. 10).
The only remedy for the stumbling-block is to take it
out of the way.
3. HE IS DESPISED BY THE PEOPLE. “Therefore have
I also made you contemptible and base before the people”
(v. 9). He preached to others, now he is a castaway.
Let us give the more earnest heed to the things which WC
have heard, lest at any time we should slip away from them
(Heb. 2. 1, margk).
PULNESS OF BLESSING.
MALACHI 3. 7-17.
MALACHI was the last of the prophets. The times in which
he lived, about 400 years before Christ, were typical of
any modern community (see vv. 13, 14).
I. The Condition of Blessing. There was-1.
THE DIVINE CHALLENGE. “Prove Me now herewith,
if I will not open the windows of Heaven and pour you out
a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive
it” (v. 10). What a promise this is, and what a challenge
to our faith. “Prove me. ” “Put Me to the test, and see
if I will not do this for you. ” Don’ t let the greatness of.Old Testament Outlines. 101
the blessing make your faith to stagger. Remember that
He who hath promised is the Almighty and Unchangeable
Lord (v. 6). What He hath promised He is we11 able to
perform.
2. THE CONDITIONS SPECIFIED . “Bring ye all the tithes
into the storehouse” (v. 10). The tithe was the tenth
of the increase, given for the priests who served in the
house of the Lord. It was reckoned as belonging to God.
They were to “render to God the things that are God’s ”
But we as Christians are not promised fulness of blessing
if we give Him a tenth of our increase, although even this
will bring blessing into the soul. We are called upon to
give to God that which belongs to Him. “Ye are not your
own, for yc are bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6. 20). God
is not satisfied when we give Him only part of what is
His own (Acts 5. 2). If we are to have the “open windows
of Heaven ” and the “poured out blessing, u we must
present ourselves unto God. This is our reasonable service
(Rom. 12. 1). “Yield yourselves unto God as those that
are alive from the dead, and your members as instrzlments
unto God” (Rom. 6. 13). We can only prove Him when
we have fulfilled His conditions.
II. The Evidences of Being Blessed.
1. “THEY FEARED THE LORD and THOUGHT UPON HIS
NAME” (v. 16). Reverential fear is a blessed state of
mind, for it leads to a deeper thinking into the precious-ness
of His Holy Name, that Name which is above every
name. 0 fear the Lord, ye saints of His.
2. “THEY SPAKE OFTEN ONE TO ANOTHER. ” We are
not told what they said, but if they were thinking of the
wondrous Name of the Lord, they were surely speaking
ot Him. Herein lies the secret and joy of Christian fellow-ship.
They had a common cause.
3. THEY HAD THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD. “The Lord.102 Handfuls on Purpose.
hearkened and heard” (v. 16). His promise was fulfilled :
“Where two or three are gathered together Gz My Name,
there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18. 20). To the
mere onlooker nothing happened. But the Lord was
“listening in. “ We have open ears when we hear others
speaking of us, and mentioning our name. So the Lord
hearkens when we talk of Him. But the Lord is no idle
listener. A “book of remembrance” was written, a memo-randum
was kept. For this thing so precious to Him shall
never be forgotten. This thing may be written in that
0th~ book mentioned in Revelation 20. 12. All spiritual
values are associated with His Name.
4. THEY HAD THE LO RD’s COMFORTING ASSURANCE.
“They shall be M&e when I make up My special treasure”
(v. 17). “They thought of ME when in the midst of a
perverse people, who said, It is vain to serve the Lord”
(v. 14). “I will think of them in that day when I gather
out all that is worth saving from a wrecked and sinking
world. ” What an encouragement we have here for the
prayer and fellowship meeting, for quiet seasons of medi-tation.
The Lord knoweth the thoughts and intents
of the heart. His special treasure is the Church, redeemed
by His own Blood. “They shall be Mine. ”
TWO GREAT DAYS.
MALACHI 4. l-3.
TN these verses we think we see a brief prophetic account
of two aspects of the Lord’s Second Appearing. Both
aspects are seen in 2 Thessalonians 1. 7-10.
I. The Awful Day of Testing. “Behold the day
cometh that shall burn as a furnace” (v. 1, R.v.). This
will be the day of the searching power of His consuming
presence, when He shall “discern between him that.Old Testament Outlfnes . 103
serveth God and him that serveth Him not ” (chap. 3. 18).
A day that when “all the proud and all that do wickedly 1
shall be stubble. “ Stubble in a furnace will stand a poor
chance of escape. In this day it will not be man’s work
only that shall be tried by fire (1 Cor. 3. 13), but the man
himseZf. “All the proud. ” ‘Who shall stand when He
appeareth, for H E is like a refiner’s fire” (chap. 3. 2).
It is Himself that is the “furnace, ” in the blazing holiness
of His righteousness. “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed
from Heaven inflaming five, taking vengeance on them that
know not God, and obey not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus
Christ : who shall be punished with everlasting destruction
from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess. 1. 8, 9). How
should this awfully solemn fact effect us in our service for
Him and them? Surely if we realised it, all coldness
and indifference would be melted by pity.
II. The Joyful Day of Deliverance. (The Lord’s
relationship to His own people.) “But unto yozl that fear
My Name, shall the sun of righteousness arise” (v. 2).
The szln also is a “furnace, ” but oh, how different its
influence. “But U&O YOU” He shall arise “with healing
in His wings. ” The sun is a brilliant symbol of Christ in
its mystery, majesty, and glorious might ; a fit emblem of
the inexhaustible resources of the Son of God, who is the
“Sun of Righteousness. ” Then truly “The Son shall r&e
the day, when, like the sun-1.
CHRIST WILL BE THE CENTRE OF A GREAT SYSTEM.
The sun is the centre of the solar system, bound together
by the law of gravitation. When Christ, as the “Sun of
Righteousness, ” shall arise upon the earth, “with the
brightlzess of His Coming” (2 Thess. 2. 8)’ He shall be
the centre of the greatest and most glorious system this
world has ever known, bound together by the law of love.
He who is the Centre of all creation will subdue all things
to Himself (1 Phil. 3. 21; 1 Cor. 15. 28). Like the sun-.1Q4 Handfuls on Purpose.
2. CHRIST WILL BE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. Jesus
said: “I am the Light of the World, “‘but ~OZP.J men “love
the da&ness rather than the light, because their deeds are
evil ; ” but thm, when He rules in righteousness, as King,
all nations shall come to His light (Isa. 9. 2; 60. 19). AI1
the blessings the sun brings us are emblems of the gifts
which Christ will bring to the world in His Day : light and
life, health and healing, warmth and fruitfulness, beauty
and gladness. What a world, perpetually basking in the
sunshine of Divine favour. The world for Christ.
AT HIS FEET.
LUKE 7. 37, 38.
1. She Game to His feet, . . . . Faith.
2. She Stood at His feet, . . . . Expectancy.
3. She Wept at His feet, , . . . Contrition,
4. She Washed His feet, . , . . Sympathy,
5. She Wiped His feet, . . . . Submission.
6. She Kissed His feet, . . . , Affection.
7. She Anointed His feet, ._. . . Consecration.
JUSTIFICATION.
JOB 25. 4.
1. It is not by the deeds of the Law, . . . Rom. 3. 20
2. It is on the ground of Christ’ s Death
and Resurrection, , . . . . , Rom. 4. 25
3. It is by His Blood, . . . . . . Rom. 5. 9
4. It is freely by His grace, . . . . Rom. 3. 24
5. It is on the condition of faith, . . Rom. 3. 26
6. It is perfect in its nature, . . , , Acts 13. 39
7. It is God that justifieth, . . . . liom. 8. 33
. 8. Its result is Peace with God, . . Rom. 5. 1.Handfuls on Purpose. 105
EXPOSITORY OUTLINES,
New Testament.
THE CALL OF GOD.
1 CORINTHIANS 1, 4-9.
ALL true Christian experience has its origin in the call
of God: “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you. ”
“Whom He called, them He also justified” (Rom. 8. 30).
We shall note some precious things inherent in this call.
It is-I.
The Call of Grace. “The grace of God which is
given yozc by Jesus Christ” (v. 4). This grace by Jesus
Christ could never come as a response to human merit.
“By grace are ye saved, and that sot of yowselves, it is the
gift of God” (Eph. 2. 8). In grace He calls, because that,
while “we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ”
II. A Call to Enrichment. “In cverytiziltg ye are
e&ched by Him, in all utterance and all knowledge”
(v. 5). The new life iw Chist is enriched with a new
value and a new power. There is a deeper knowledge of
God, a clear vision of the treasure of His Word, and fuller
expression of all these in the life. Truly he is a rich man.
Rich in faith, rich toward God.
III, A Call to Patient Waiting. “Ye came behind in
no gift. Waiting for the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ”
It is to be feared that many do come behind in their gift of
looking for the Coming of the Lord. The Christians at
Thessalonica had this gift (1 Thess. 1. 9, 10). We should
be thankful that this gift is being freely bestowed on God’s
people in these days.
IV. A Call to a Blameless Life. “That ye may be
blameless in the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 8). VOL. x. 8.100 Handfuls on Purpose.
Herein lies the @zcticaZ zlse of this “Blessed Hope, ” which
if often questioned by the unbelieving. Our lives must be
affected by our prospects. “Every man that hath I%
lzo#e in him purifieth himself” (1 John 3. 3). HOW sayest
thou then that there is no good in looking for His Coming?
V. A Call to Fellowship. “Ye were called into the
fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 9).
Brethren, what a high calling this is I Called into partner-ship
with God’s Son in seeking to save the lost and in the
building up of His Church, and in the hastening of His
Kingdom. In all this we are to be-not sleep&g partners,
but-active “co-workers together with Him. ” We are
called into fellowship with Him, but the “capital” is all
His own in this great business. “For in Him dwelleth
all the fulness of the Godhead bodily“ (Col. 2. 9). And
from this fulness have we all received.
VI. A Call by a Faithful God. “God is faithful by
whom ye were called” (v. 9). This holy calling does
imply serious responsibility. We might well tremble
when we think of our own poverty and ignorance and
weakness. But then, it was by the God who is ever true
to His promise that ye were called. Hear what the apostle
says to the merciful Philippians: “My God, so great in
His wealth in Christ Jesus, will fully supply every need
of yours” (Phil. 4. 19). Only believe1
THE APPEAL OF THE GROSS.
1 CORINTHIANS 1. 18-31.
THE preaching, or message, of the Cross, is treated in
these days much in the same way as Christ Himself was
treated in the days of His humiliation and sorrow (v. 18).
The worldly wise sneered, and official dignity denied
Him. By the preaching of Christ cruci6ed the Cross is
still making its appeal..New Testament Outlines. 107
I. To them that are Perishing it is Foolishness
(v. 18). A man must be sinking into the blackness of
final despair who thinks God‘s method of salvation is
“foolishness. ” He might as well call it foolishness to
expect light from the sun.
II. To them that are being Saved it is the Power
of God (v. 18). To them who are being plucked out of the
fire, like brands from the burning, and being delivered
from the dominion of sin, and translated into the Kingdom
of His dear Son, and being taught by His Holy Spirit and
satisfied with His grace it is the power of God.
III. To the Jew it is a Stumblingblock (v. 23). The
poor Jew, blinded by unbelief has been stumbling over the
Cross ever since Christ rose from the dead. The Cross of
Christ lies right across his path, He cannot possibly get
it out of his way. Some of the things spoken of by this
prophet have been literally fulfilled by the life and death
of this Man called Jesus, the Christ (Isa. 53), whom they
crucified. They as a nation will go on stumbling till the
Lord Comes, and they look upon Him whom they have
pierced (Zech. 12. 10).
IV. To the Greek it is Foolishness (v. 23). The
Greeks seek after wisdom, but the message of the Cross,
which is the embodiment of the wa&Zom of God, is to those
worldly-wise ones “foolishness. ” Surely the “foolishness
of God is wiser than the wisdom of the wisest men” (v. 25).
“The age by its wisdom knew not God” (v. 21). There
are many in our own day, like those Greeks, who are
earnestly seeking after wisdom, and yet deliberately
passing by Him who is the wisdom of God (v. 24).
V. To the Christian, whether Jew or Greek, Christ
and Him Crucified is the power of God and the
wisdom of God (v. 24). The Gospel of Christ is the
power of God to save to the uttermost of man’s need, and.108 Handfuls on Purpose.
the wisdom of God to satisfy to the uttermost man’s search
for truth. To know God as revealed in His Word is to be
made &se unto salvation. Our view of Christ in relation
to God may be a great thing, but God’s view of Christ in
relationship to us His people is a much greater thing. It
is with HIS reckoning we have specially to do. For by the
reckoning of Almighty Grace Christ is made of God unto us-1.
“WI S D OM” FOR THE MI ND. The quality of being
wise belongs more to character than to thought. He has
given us capacity to understand spiritual things. He can
make us to abound in this wisdom (Eph. 1. 8), so that we
might be filled (Col. 1. 9).
2. “RIGHTEOUSNESS” FOR THE HEART. This righteous-ness
comes not by the “works of the law, ” but by the
reckoning of grace. “Abraham believed God, and it was
counted to him for righteousness. ” To get right with
God means, “Not I, but Christ. ”
3. “SANCTIFICATION” FOR THE WO RK. Set apart, not
as a recluse, but as a worker-together with Him. Jesus
said : “On their behalf I consecrate Myself, ifi order tbaz!
they may become perfectly consecrated i% truth” (John
17. 19, Weymouth). We are not saved as a miser saves his
money, but as a wise father saves his son, by giving him
fitness for his life’s work.
4. “DELIVERANCE” FOR OUR ASSURANCE. This promise
may well put cheer and confidence in our hearts, that He
will work deliverance for us, whether as tempted and tried
pilgrims, or as warriors for the truth. “LO, I am with
you alway. ”
THE CHRISTIAN REVELATION.
1 CORINTHIANS 2. 9-16.
I. This Revelation cannot Possibly be the Inven-tion
of Men. The eye of man’s carnal mind hath never.New Testament Outlines. 109
seen it. The car of man’s worldly wisdom hath never
heard it. Neither hath it ever entered into the heart of
man (apart from the Holy Spirit) the things which God
hath prepared for them that love Him (v. 9), and since the
beg&z&g of the world it hath been so (Isa. 64. 4). The
world by wisdom knew not God (chap. 1. 21).
II. It is a Revelation from God. “But God hath
revealed them unto us”_ (v. 10). God only could reveal
the mysteries of HIS suffering Son. “0 the depths of the
riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God con-cerning
His Son” (Rom. 11. 33). This is the glory of
the Gospel message, that it is as true and as gracious as
the God who gave it (Gal. 1. 12).
III. What this Revelation Is. It is the unveiling of the
mystery of Christ and Him crucified (v. 2). The revela- .
tion of the fact that He died for 0~7 sitts, and rose again
for our jzlstification, and that He is coming again for our
final deliverance (Heb. 9. 26). It is a revelation of His
abounding grace to sinful men, and of His power to save
to the very uttermost all that come unto Him.
IV. How this Revelation is Made Known. “God
hath revealed them unto us by His Spid” (v. 10). It
has come from God, and it comes home to the believing
heart by the Spirit of God. For “the Spirit searcheth the
deep things of God. ” “The things of God no man knoweth
without the Spirit of God” (v. 11). The Holy Spirit is
the minister of the things of Christ (1 Cor. 12. 8-11). He
is the “Spirit of Truth, ” and He shall teach you all things
bearing on the revealed will of the Father, “for He shall
receive of Mine and shall shew it unto you” (John 16. 13).
Oh, that all His people were so taught of God. With such a
“Teacher, come from God, ” there is no excuse for spiritual
poverty. “Receive ye the Holy Ghost. ” For ye may know
theletteroftheword,andyetbestrangers to itsmightypower.
..110 Handfuls on Purpose.
V. How these Things should be Preached. “My
preaching was not with enticing words of man’ s wisdom,
but in demo&ration of the 3pirit and of fiowey” (v. 4).
“Our Gospe! came not unto you in word only, but also
in power and in the Holy Ghost” (1 Thess. 1. 5). Without
this power, preaching is without authority-“sounding
brass. ” There may be a demonstration of eloquent words
and fleshly energy, but without the demonstration of the
Spirit it is spiritually powerless (v. 13). “But ye shall
receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come sport
you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me” (Acts 1. 8).
Ye ministers of His, “Tarry ye until ye be endued with
powers from art high” (Luke 24. 49). “For the promise
is unto you” (Acts 2. 39).
VI. The Christian’ s Attitude Towards this Divine
Revelation. “I am determined not to know anything
among you, save Jesus Christ atid Him cmcified” (v. 2).
In Corinth there were many contentions, as there are in
the world everywhere to-day. But Paul knew that the
one thing needed by all was the power of the Gospel of
Christ. The worldly, in their wisdom, would call this
narrow-minded; but it is the wisdom of God to offer the
Divine remedy for all the world’ s woes. “I am deter-milzed,
” he declared, “This one thing I do. ” Would
God that this determination was the settled motive in the
hearts of all who serve in the preaching of God’s Word.
The whole counsel of God radiates from the “Christ and
Him cructied. ” “I count all things but loss for the
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord”
(Phil. 3. 8).
OUR LIFE’ S WORK TESTED.
1 CORINTHIANS 3. 10-20.
PAUL, as a master builder, is here dealing with some
fundamental facts concerning the Christian’s life and work..New Testament Outlines. 111
I. A Foundation has been Laid. “Other foundation
can. no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ”
(v. 11). A foundation was needed, first, by God Himself,
in which to build the structure of His redeemed Church ;
secoad, by man, on which to build his hopes for this life
and the life to come. This foundation has been well and
t&y laid by the hand of infinite wisdom. Laid as deep as
the grave, and as stable as the Eternal Throne. “Upon
this Rock (Christ) I will build My Church, and the gates
of Hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16. 18). “For
the foundation of God standeth sure” (2 Tim. 2. 19).
Since God the Father has purposed to build His Church
and His Kingdom on that Rock, which is Christ, let us
have the faith of God, and build otiuy all on Him.
II. A Superstructure is Being Raised. “If any
man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious
stones, ” etc. (v. 2). Here are two different classes of
builders-1.
THE WISE BUILDER. Who builds “gold, silver, and
precious stones. ” He puts in this foundation that which
is consistent with its precious character (Rev. 21. 19).
He is careful about his doctrine, that the things he teaches
in God’s Name are in harmony with His Word. He is
careful also about his mamzer of life. In 2 Peter 1. 5-7
there is laid down before us a whole load of suitable
material for a wise builder.
2. THE FOOLISH BUILDER. He uses “wood, hay, and
stubble, or timber, hay and straw. ” The foolish builder
is wise in his own conceit. He thinks that as long as you
believe in the foundation it matters little what_y_ou build
upon it, and so false teaching becomes easy, and the vain
philosophies of the proud in heart become attractive. He
is careless and indifferent in firactice, his faith in Christ
has brought no change in his life and outlook. He still.112 Handfuls on Purpose.
believes in building with “wood, hay, and stubble. ” These
may be useful in some ways, but they are “after the
tradition of me% and ltot after Christ” (Col. 2. 8).
III. A Testing Time is Coming. “That day in
which the fire shall try every wads work of what sort it is”
(v. 13). The foundation has been already fried (Isa. 28.
16). But the work done that has been associated with
His Name will be tried with the fire of God’ s searching
judgment. “Behold the day cometh that shall burn as
an oven, when the $roud and all that do i?ziquity shall
be as stubble” (Mal. 4. 1). If the pro& and the workers
of iltiqukty are reckoned as stubble, so also are the works of
the proud self-seeking Christians. This fiery test is not
to reveal whether we are Christians or not, but whether
our works as Christians are worthy of Christ or not. Will
He own them, or will He burn then ? That depends on
their own intrinsic character, whether they are gold, or
wood, silver or hay, precious stones or stubble. What
they are will determine their destiny.
IV. The Results.
1. SOME REWARDED. “If any man’ s work-or building
which he has created-stands the test, he will be rewarded” (v. 14). He is not rewarded because he is a Christian.
Salvation is not a reward for good works. It is the gift
of God. The reward comes for the good works done in His
Name, that are well pleasing in His sight ; works that are
consistent with the character of the Foundation. True
and good, precious in His eyes, and that bear the stamp
of eternal value.
2. SOME NOT REWARDED. “If any man’ s work shall be
burned, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved,
yet so as by fire” (v. 15). If his work is burned up it is
because it is as wood, hay, and stubble, fit fuel for the fire.
He may have a saved so&, but he has a lost life. Such.New Testament Outlines. 113
will be the poorer through all the coming ages, as the
result of his present ignorance and folly. The wages of
this sin is also death. Death to the prospect of being
rewarded for faithful service at the Coming of the Lord
(1 Peter 5. 4), who shall try every man’s work of what
sort it is. For we must all of us appear before Christ’s
judgment, set in our true characters, ia ovder that each
may then receive an award for his actions in this life, in
accordance with what he has done, whether it be good OY
worthless (2 Cor. 5. 10). “Let no man deceive
himself” (v. la), for we are assured that God will not be
mocked. He cannot mistake the hollow, heartless, worth-less
hay and stubble service for the faith, love and works
of the consecrated life. Let every man take heed how he
buildeth thereqkm (v. 10).
THINGS WE OUGHT TO KNOW.
1 CORINTHIANS 6.
AT this time the Corinthian Church was unstable in
doctrine and factious in fellowship, Some things are
specially emphasised by the prefix : “Do you not know” or
“Know ye not. ” See what some of these things are.
KNOW YE NOT that-I.
The Saints shall Judge the World (v. 2). Daniel,
in his vision, saw the Ancient of Days come, and the time
that the saints possessed the kingdom (Dan. 7. 22).
Jesus said: “Ye which have followed Me in the times of
regeneration, when the Son of Man shall be enthroned,
ye also shall sit upon thrones judging” (Matt. 19. 28).
They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years
(Rev. 20. 4). It is a small matter for His saints to be
judged of men now. Their day is coming.
II. Your Bodies are the Members of Christ (v. 15).
“The body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body”.114 Handfuls on Purpose.
(v. 13). Know ye not that these bodies of yours belong
to Christ as really as your souls? The Lord is for your
spirit, He also is for your body. Your body is a visible
working member of Christ. The temptations of the Devil
often come by way of the body. Keep it in subjection,
lest by any means it might lead to uselessness (1 Car.
9. 27).
III. Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost
(v. 19). In Solomon’s Temple the glory of the Lord
rested on the mercy seat, right in the centre of the Holy
of holies, making the Temple a true witness to His
Presence and power. The Church of God is also His
temple. “Ye are the temple of the living God ; as God hath
said, I will dwell in thena, and walk in them ; and I will
be their God, and they shall be My people“ (2 Cor. 6. 16).
“Ye also are bzcilded together for a habitation of God,
through the Spirit” (Eph. 2. 21, 22). We are all one in
Christ, as a corporate body, it is the temple of God. But
the body of each individual believer becomes a temple of
the Holy Ghost. This is a more humbling, searching, and
inspiring thought than that God dwells in His Church.
Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Right in
the centre of this temple, in the Holy of holies, the heart,
the Holy Spirit broods and works, bringing comfort and
guidance in life, and power for testimony. God iti the
midst.
IV. Ye are Not Your Own for Ye are Bought with a
Price (w. 19, 20). Is this freedom or bondage ? It is
both. It means the freedom of the sons of God, the
liberty of the Spirit ; and the bondage of a conquered love.
Independence is an impossibility. To be independent
we must be without a country, without a body, and with-out
a God. “Ye are bought with a price. ” A price which
only God Himself could pay: the precious Blood of His
own dear Son (1 Peter 1. 18, 19). Christ is much more.New Testament Outlines. 115
than an Examfile for us, He is our Ransom, Having been
bou& by His Blood, ye belolzg to Him; therefore, “ye
are not your own, ” and should “glorify God in your body
and in your spirit, which are God’ s” (v. 20). The love of
Christ ought to constrain us, that we who live by His
redeeming grace should not henceforth live unto our-selves,
but unto Him who died for us and rose again
(2 Cor. 3. 14, 15), that we might show forth the praises
of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His mar-vellous
light (1 Peter 2. 9).
THE MINISTRY.
1 CORINTHIANS 9. 747.
THE apostle is here vindicating both his ministry and his
method, and there are suggested some qualifications for
a successful ministry.
I. He had a Personal Experience of Jesus Christ.
“Have I not see% Jesus Christ our Lord ? ” (v. 1). He had
both seen Him and heard Him, and knew the transforming
power of His revelation. He could truthfully say: “I
know Him whom I have believed. ” Should not this be the
initial experience of every messenger of the Gospel ? How
can we say, “We speak that we do know, ” if we have no
personal experience of His saving power 1
II. He had Faith in God for the Supply of his Need.
Although he asked nothing from those to whom he minis-tered
the Word, but showed them that if he sowed spiritual
things it was no great thing if he should reap their carnal
things (v. 11), he reminded them that it was an ordination
of the Lord, “that they which preach the Gospel should
live of the Gospel (v. 14). The Gospel of Christ is without
charge, and he would put no price on it for his own advan-tage
(v. 18). He could say : “My God will supply all your.116 Handfuls on Purpoee .
need” (Phil. 4. 19). It is a sorry service that can be
bribed with money.
III. He has Enthusiasm for the Gospel. “Necessity
is laid upon me ; yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the
Gospel” (v. 16). This is not that kind of enthusiasm that
can be worked up for a special occasion ; not a convulsive
effort that may be produced by a torrent of words. It is
the result of the holy fire from the altar of the Cross
blazing in the heart, where the “wood, hay, and stubble”
of all self-seeking has been burned up, and where the Holy
Spirit has taken possession of the life, and focused the
energies of the soul in Christ and Him crucified. “To
me to live is Christ. ” .
IV. He has Humility of Spirit. “I have’made myself
the slave of all, that I might gain the more” (v.. IO). He
was ready to take the lowest place that he might, if possible
reach the lowest down. Like his Master, he .took the
towel of humility and girded himself, that he might wash
the feet of others (John 13. 4, 5). “He that humbleth
himself shall be exalted. ” “The proud .He knoweth
afar off. ” “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he
is none of His” (Rom. 8. 9).
V. He has the Power of Adaptation in Method.
“To the Jews I become as a Jew, that I might gain the
J ews. To them under the law, as under the law, that I
might W&S them that are under the law” (vv. 20, 21).
He declares further: “That I am made all things to all,
that I might by all means save some. And this I do for
the Gospel’ s sake” (w. 22, 23). In all this we may be
assured Paul never condescended to pander to that which
was evil, or encourage customs and practices which were
dishonouring to the Name of Jesus. He simply and
lovingly stooped down far enough to get a hold of them,
that he might lift up into God’s salvation. No weakling.New Testament Outlines. 117
in the faith should attempt this. It takes a strong man to
swim against this tide.
VI. He is Self-denying that he might Keep Physi-cally
Fit. “1 keep my body in subjection, lest I myself
should be rejected” (v. 27). The body is a sacred instru-ment
for the work of God, In eating and drinking, in
work or in physical exercise, let us remember that the
body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (1 COG. 6. 13). “Ye are not your own, ” therefore take care of the
Lord’s property.
GOD’ S PROVISION FOR HIS PILGRIM PEOPLE.
1 CORINTHIANS 10. 1-4.
PAUL assures us here twice over (vv. 6. 11) that these
things happened unto them as types, or examples unto us,
upon whom the ends of the ages are come. We, like them,
are pilgrims and strangers on the earth, enjoying great
spiritual mercies. They had the “shadows, ” we have
the realities.
I. The Moving Cloud. “All our fathers were under
the cloud” (v. 1). The cloud of shelter by day, and of
fire by night as their protection and guide (Exod. 13. 21).
The cloud was the symbol and evidence of the Divine
Presence, in itself a mystery. When it moved they
moved. It seemed to move easily, but nothing on earth
outside could move it. What a suggestive emblem of the
revealed Word of God! They all were under it, and God
was ius a’ t, and all were baptised into the one name (Moses),
their leader and law-giver (v. 2). They were infallibly
led by the God-created cloud, just as we can be by His
unerring Word. To move withozlt the cloud was to go in
their own name, wisdom, and strength, which would mean
for them confusion and failure. This is what it means for
us when we choose our way, and act without His authority..118 Handfuls on Purpose.
It was because they believed andfollowed the cloud that they
were able to go into the midst of the sea upon dry ground
(Exod. 14. 22). It is because we have believed and acted
on the “Word of the Lord” that we have passed from death
into life, from the place of bondage into the liberty of
the land of the promises. Keep on believing. Keep your
eye on the God-inspired cloud.
II. The Daily Manna. “They did all eat the same
spiritual meat” (v. 3). “He gave them bread from
Heaven to eat” (John 6. 31). Those who follow the Word
of God will surely be fed by the “Bread of God. ” Jesus
said : “I am the Living Bread which came down from
Heaven” (John 6. 48-51). The manna, then, is typical
of Jesus Christ, who came down from Heaven as “the
Bread of Life. ” The manna was like Christ in that-1.
IT WAS THE GIFT OF GOD. Of course all bread is
God’s gift, whether it comes out of the earth or out of
the Heavens; but the wilderness could do nothing by way
of producing it. So Christ was God’s gift to a starving
world (John 3. 16). God knew what the hungry heart of
man needed when He gave His Son as “the Bread of Life.”
2. IT WAS SUITED FOR ALL. All alike found it what it
pretended to be: something to satisfy the craving of
hunger. What Christ has to give is just what all the sons
of men need, that which exactly suits them, the forgive-ness
of sins and grace to help in every time of need.
Satisfied with His abundance.
3. IT WAS OFFERED TO ALL. From the youngest to the
oldest, without money, without price. The rich and the
poor alike needed it. In this offer of Heaven’s bread, God
is no respecter of persons, for all have sinned. So Christ
as the “Living Bread” from Heaven is offered, in God’s
grace, to any man who will eat this bread (John 6. 51),
promising that he that eateth shall live for ever..New Testament Outlines. 119
4. IT WAS PERSONALLY USED. “They did all eal the
same spiritual meat. ” It was not enough to gather and
boast of how much they had gotten. To be personally
profited there must be a personal appropriation. We may
possibly gather much knowledge about Christ, and yet
receive little strength and satisfaction from it, if the truth
is not assimilated in our own spiritual life. “He that
eateth Me shall live by Me” (John 6. 47).
III. The Rock that Followed Them. “They drank
of that Spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock
was Christ” (v. 4).
1. LIKE CHRIST, THIS ROCK WAS REVEALED BY GOD.
It may only have taken God a few moments to show Moses
this rock in Horeb, but it took Him over thirty years to
show the Rock, Christ ; for all the years of His earthly life
was an unveiling of His character as the Chosen One.
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. ”
2. LIKE CHRIST, THIS ROCK WAS DIVINELY POSSESSED.
‘Behold I will stand before thee there @a~ the rock in’
Horeb” (Exod. 17. 6). At Christ’s baptism the Holy
Spirit rested upon Him. There was to be no mistaking
Him as the God-appointed medium of blessing to His
trusting people. “God was irt Christ seeking to reconcile
a wandering world to Himself” (2 Cor. 5. 19).
3. LIKE CHRIST, THIS ROCK WAS RICH IN UNREALISED
BLESSING. The Israelites might say, “How can any good
come out of this rock ? ” as they said of Christ, “Can any
good come out of Nazareth ? ” or, “How can this Man
save us?” but it pleased God that in Him should all
fulness dwell (Col. 1. 19). But they could say later on:
“Of His fulness have all we received” (John 1. 16).
4. LIKE CHRIST, THIS ROCK MUST BE SMITTEN. “Thou
shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it,
that the people may drink” (Exod. 17. 6). The rock was.120 Handful8 on Purpose.
not smitten for itself, but for the salvation of the people.
He was wounded for our transgressions, the rod of God’s
judgment fell upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed
(Isa. 53).
5. LIKE CHRIST, THE SMITTEN ROCK POURED FORTH
ITS HIDDEN TREASURES . “He clave the rock, and gave
them drink as out of the great depths” (Psa. 78. 15). 0
wonder of wonders, that from His smittera Son there should
come forth streams of redeeming mercies, out of the great
depths of God’s eternal purpose. In that day in which
Christ was pierced, there was opened a fountain of cleansing
for a sinful world. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come
ye to the waters” (Isa. 55. 1).
6. LIKE C H R I ST, THIS S PIRITUAL R OCK FOLLOWED
THEM. They drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed
them: and that Rock was Christ” (v. 4). This water
from the Rock was to them an abadircg blessing. It fol-lowed
them. Something to satisfy all the way. Jesus
said: “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a
well, springing up into everlastircg life” (John 4. 14). And,
“Lo, I am with you, and will never leave you nor forsake
you. ” He is our Rock, the Rock of our eternal salvation
and eternal supply.
OVERTHROWN BY SIN.
1 CORINTHIANS 10. 5-15.
THEY went up out of Egypt a mixed multitude (Num. 11,4),
but not a man of them saw Caleb and Joshua enter into
the promised possession (Num. 26. 65). What a warning
we have here against secret sin, which leads to backsliding
and to final overthrow
I. Who were They that Fell in the Wilderness ?
They had been-.
1. SAVED OUT OF EGYPT. They passed through the sea,.New Testament Outlines. 121
and knew something of the God of Deliverance. They
had identified themselves with the ransomed host.
2. BAPTISED into the Name of the God-appointed
leader, acknowledging his authority, and professedly
his followers.
3. IN FULL COMMUNION. They did all eat of the same
bread and drank from the same Rock (w. 3, 4). What
privileges were theirs, but how hollow their profession.
II. Their Failure. It was great, and brought fatal
results. “They were overthrown in the wilderness. ” There
fell on one day twenty-three thousand (v. 8). The
character of their failure as backsliders may be seen in
that they-1.
DISPLEASED GOD. With many of them God was not
well pleased (v. 5). God’s displeasure may not be apparent
for a time, as He is slow to anger, but if not repented of
will certainly ripen into judgment.
2. MISSING THE MA RK, The mark was the Land of
Promise, but they missed it because of their unbelief
(Jude 3). They failed because they lost their faith in
God.
3. PREMATURE DEATH. Every one of them died, we
might say, before their time. God was willing to bring
them into the “good land, ” but evil slays the wicked
(Psa. 34. 21). Those who wander in heart away from
God scarcely realise how they are cutting short their
lives.
III. The Causes of Failure. They are many, but all
have their root in heart-departure from the Living God,
by ceasing to honour and obey His Word. Their sins are
the sins of many in our own day, who have turned aside
in heart from following the Lord.
1. T H E Y L U S T E D AFTER F ORBIDDEN T H I N G S (v. 6).
VOL. x. 9.122 Handfuls on Purpose.
The pleasures of the old unregenerate life are longed for,
the bread of God has become stale (Num. 11. 4), God
Himself has become unreal.
2. THEY WORSHIPPED OTHER GODS (v. 7). When any
other object is loved and honoured more than the Lord
our God, then we are idolaters, whether it be our business,
our pleasures, our children, or ourselves. “He that
loveth any one or anything more than Me, ” saith Christ,
“is not worthy of Me” (Matt. 10. 37, 38).
3. THEY INDULGED IN SOCIAL IMPURITY (v. 8). This
secret, soul-withering sin is without a covering in the
eyes of God. “Be sure your sin will find you out. ”
4. THEY M URMURED AT THE P ROVIDENCE OF G OD
(v. 10). They murmured against Moses, against Aaron,
against God’s method of dealing with them, and became
discontented even with the manna from Heaven (Num.
14. 2). When a professing Christian begins to murmur
against God’s servants, and to criticise and find fault
with God’s Word and message, be sure that in heart
they are estranged from God, if they ever truly knew
Him.
IV. The Present Application. These things are all
examples unto us (w. 6-11). All sins, secret or open,
have still the same effect in separating the soul from
fellowship with God, and overthrowing the testimony of
the life as a witness to the power of Christ. Discontent
with the provision and promises of God is the blighted
fruit of a doubting heart. Brethren, let us labour
therefore to enter into that “rest of faith, ” lest any
man fall after the same example of unbelief (Heb.
4. 11). “Thou startdest by faith; be not high-minded,
but fear” (Rom. 11. 20). “The end of all things is at
hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer”
(1 Peter 4. 7)..New Testament Outlines. 123
THE LORD’S SUPPER.
1 CORINTHIANS 1 I. 23-29.
THIS ordinance is the heirloom of the Christian Church.
The emblems are of a most simple and homely character-“
Bread and Wine. ” Yet the significance of them in the
hands of Christ embody the profoundest facts in the
Christian faith. The bread, “My Body;” the wine, “My
Blood. ” Symbols of His character and mission.
I. His Incarnation. “He took bread and said, This is
My Body” (v. 23). A body hast Thou prepared me. He
took on Him not the nature of angels, but the “likemxs
of sinful flesh” (Rom. 8. 3). He took the body prepared
for Him by the Father, that He might have somewhat to
offer as a visible sacrifice for the sin of the world. The
taking of the bread as a symbol of His body was a voluntary
act, for He wade Himself of no reputation when He took
the form of a servant (Phil. 2. 7).
II. His Devotion. “He gave thanks” (v. 24). He
took the bread, emblem of His body, and gave thanks
to God for it. Think of it! Giving thanks to God for a
body that was to be bruised and broken on a Cross : thanks
to the Father for the privilege of dying for a guilty and
thankless humanity ! In this simple, common act, see
the whole-hearted devotion of our Lord to the awful work
the Father had given Him to do. “Not My will, but
Thine be done. ”
III. His Suffering. After giving thanks He brake it.
Every word and act seems full of meaning. He did not
ask Judas to break it. He Himself broke it. He gave
Himself a sacrifice for our sins. He could say: “No man
taketh My life from Me: I lay it down of Myself. ” He
broke the bread, of which He said, “This is My Body”
(John 10. 18). It was because He loved us that He gave
Himself for us an offering unto God (Eph. 5. 2). His life.124 Handfuls on Purpose.
was a life of thanksgiving; His death was a voluntary
offering. “Father, I will. ”
IV. His Substitution. “This is My Body which is
broken for you. ” Not broken by accident. He was
wounded for OUY transgressions, bruised for OUY iniquities,
the chastisement of ozlr peace was upon Him. He was
“broken for you” (Isa. 53. 5). The wine of His precious
blood was poured out for our redemption (1 Peter 1. 19).
We are apt to speak lightly and think little of these words
uttered at His last meal on earth. “My body, broken for ”
you. What would be the thoughts in His mind when uttering
them ? He already saw the Cross, and perhaps already feIt the pangs of Gethsemane in His soul. But love con-strained
Him. When we sit at the Lord’ s table and
handle the bread and cup, do we realise this as we should:
“My Body broken for yo”, ” “My Blood shed for you ? ”
V. His Invitation. “Take, eat. ” “DO this in remem-brance
of Me. ” After atonement has been made by His
suffering and death, there comes (symbolically) the
invitation to partake of the benefits purchased. “Take,
eat, ” appropriate to yourseIves what is here set before you.
This is the message of the Gospel. “Do this irr V.WW~-brame
of MC. ” There is no virtue in the mere eating and
drirtkilzg. The soul of the ordinance is in remenzbering
Him The elements are but the memorials of what He
hath done for us in giving His body and His Blood a
Ransom for our souls.
VI, His Purpose in It. “As often as ye eat this bread
and drink this cup, ye do skew forth the Lord’ s death. ”
There is no symbolic ordinance left us to show forth His
Incarnation, or His Transfiguration, or His Ascension,
but there is for His Crucifixion. why is that His death
is to be so prominently and persistently kept before our
minds? Because all our salvation has come out of it, and.New Testament Outlines. 125
all the hopes of the ungodly are in it. “God forbid that
I should glory, save in the Cross of Jesus Christ our
Lord” (Gal. 6. 14). Preach Christ and H&z crkfied.
VII. His Prospect. “Ye do shew forth the Lord’s
death till He come” (v. 26). When He comes again,
according to His promise, the Church will have no need of
this memorial of Him. We have little need for an absent
friend’s photograph when He Himself has come to us.
The present dispensation is an interval between His
Cross and His Throne. While we may sit at His table
with sorrowful, yet peaceful, hearts; while we think of
His sorrow and shame on our behalf, we can look hopefully
up, knowing that He is coming again to receive us unto
Himself (John 14. l-3). When we think of the Lord’s
table we must recognise that it is not the table of any
particular Church or sect. It is the Lord’ s, and all have
the right to it who are able to discem the Lord’s body in
the emblems. Our worthiness or unworthiness to sit at
His table lie, not in our good education, not in our moral
character, or religious profession, but in our spiritzlal
discernment (v. 29).
THE CHURCH AS THE BODY OF CHRIST.
1 COHINTHIANS 12. 12-31.
THE human body is a perfect metaphor, or image, of the
Church of Jesus Christ, as it is a living organism with
many members, controlled by one spirit
I. The Church is One Body. A body with two heads
would be a monstrosity. So would a head with two bodies.
“Ye are the body of Christ” (v. 27). “Ye, being many,
are one body in Christ” (Rom. 12. 5). We have Churches
many, but Christ has only one.
II. The Members are all United by One Spirit.
“By one Spirit are we all baptised into one Body” (v. 13).126 Handfuls on Purpose.
We may be admitted into a local Church on a Profession
of faith, but to be united to the Spiritual Body of Christ
we need the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost. “It is
the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing”
(John 6. 63). The Lord knoweth them that are His.
III. The Body of Christ includes Every Member.
“Whether they be Jew or Gentile, bond or free” (v. 13).
Whether they be black or white, brown or yellow, rich or
poor, young or old, learned or ignorant, living or dead:
all who in every age have been made to drink of the one
soul-nourishing Spirit (v. 13), all are His. All who have
been brought nigh by the Blood of Christ (Eph. 2. 13).
Is the Church a failure? It may be. But the Church
which is the Body of Christ is no failure, for when He
comes to gather up His precious treasure, He will have a
body that will be a glorious witness to the triumph of His
sufferings.
IV. Each Member has its Own Function. “God
hath set the members every one of them, in the body as it
hath @eased Him” (v. 18). The foot is not expected to
do the work of the hand, nor the eye to do what the ear
is made for. There are diversities of gifts (see vv. 2%31),
but one Spirit and one purpose. Be not discouraged if
your gift is not so prominent and helpful as some others.
The eye doth not covet the function of the ear, nor the ear
that of the eye. Let us prayerfully seek to find out what
that gift is which God hath been pleased to bestow. If
you are a member of Christ’s Body, there is something
you can do for Him. A paralyzed member is a betrayal
of His character.
V. All the Members are Interdependent. “The eye
cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee, ” etc.
(v. 21). Each member of the body needs the help of the
others. We ought to praise God for the gifts of other.New Testament Outlines. 127
members, when the work of the Lord is being helped on.
What does it matter which member has the special gift,
so long as the will of the Head is being done through the
body.
VI. There is no Division in the Body in His Sight
(w. 25-27). “Ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3. 23).
“The same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon
Him” (Rom. 10. 12). “There is one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope” (Eph. 4. 4). Things
that divide the members of His Body, in the eyes of men,
are things devised by the pride and prejudice of men.
As Christians, let us “Endeavour to keep the unity of the
S$Grit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4. 3).
VII. All the Members of the Body are in Mutual
Sympathy. So the members of Christ should have the
same care one for another. “If one member suffer, all
the members suffer with it: if one be honoured, all the
members rejoice with it” (w. 25, 26). There is no place
for envy or jealousy here. In the Lord’s service such
unclean spirits must be cast out. For “though I speak
with the tongue of an angel and have not love, I am
become as sounding brass” (chap. 13. 1). “Love seeketh
not her own. ” Follow after love and desire spiritual
gifts (chap. 14. 1).
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRIST’S
RESURRECTION.
1 CORINTHIANS 15 12-23.
HERE the apostle reasons on this great truth from two
different standpoints-1.
The NEGATIVE. “If Christ be not r i s e n”-t h en
what ?
2. The POSITIVE . “But now is Christ risen, “–then
what ? As if one should say : “If the sun should not rise.123 Handfuls on Purpose.
again, then what would happen ? ” But now the sun is
risen and becomes self-evident.
I. If Christ be Not Risen.
1. THEN CHRIST’S OWN TESTIMONY WAS UNTRUE. He
had given His promise: “I will rise again. ” “Destroy
this temple (body) and in three days I will raise it up”
(John 2. 19). If He failed here, how could He be “the
Resurrection and the Life ? ” (John 11. 25).
2. THEN HIS DISCIPLES WERE COMPLETELY DECEIVED.
For this was the keynote of their joyful testimony. “They
taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resur-rection
from the dead” (Acts 4. 2). When their Lord was
crucified, the disciples were of all men the most miserable,
hiding in shame from their countrymen. But suddenly
they became the most joyful and courageous of mortals.
What had happened? They had seen their Lord risen
from the tomb.
3. THEN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IS A GIGANTIC FRAUD.
It is a majestic structure, without any foundation. If
there was no empty grave in Joseph’s garden on the third
day, then this is the emptiest thing on earth. It is built
on the supposition that Christ rose from the dead. If He
did not rise from the grave, then how are we to account for
its strength and perpetuity all these long ages?
4. THEN CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE IS A GRAND DELUSION.
Our assurance of forgiveness, our joy in being justified
in the light of God, our peace of heart and mind, our
answered prayers, our sweet fellowship with God, our
bright hopes for the world to come, are all imaginary;
and all the millions in every age who have had these
experiences have been fatally betrayed.
5. THEN WE WHO BELIEVE IN IMMORTALITY HAVE BEEN
LIVING IN A FOOL’S PARADISE. Instead of “departing to
be with Christ, ” those who have died in this faith have
..New Testament Outlines. 129
perished like the beast. The joys, hopes, and visions of
the dying Christian have all been delusive. Their expecta-tion
of seeing Jesus and meeting the loved ones gone before
have been but a treacherous empty fancy. Their whole
life has been a mere hallucination.
6. THEN WE ARE OF ALL MEN THE MOST MISERABLE.
For we, of all men, have stood on the highest pinnacle
of expectation, having the brightest outlook and the most
confident hopes of any other man. It means for us to be
cast down from the high tower of our personal blessedness
into the abyss of darkness and despair. If Christ be not
risen then the Christian life is but a ghastly mirage, for
there will be no resurrection of the dead (v. 12), our
preaching has been in vain, and ourfaith is also vain (v. 14).
We have been false witnesses, and we are yet in our sins,
and all who have died in the faith are $erished (v. 18).
II. But Now is Christ Risen (v. 20). What a joyful
ring there is in this shout. It is like the blast of the
trumpet of victory. “Now is Christ risen, ” and the
foundations of Hell have been shaken. The sun has
arisen in His strength and scattered the darkness, and
brought health and beauty with His healing beams.
“Now is Christ risen. ”
1. THEN OUR PREACHING IS NOT IN VAIN. The great
commission still stands good and true: “A11 power is
given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore”
(Matt. 28. 18-20). “Lo, I (the Risen One) am with you
alway. ” He will not fail you, be not discouraged. The
Gospel of the Risen Christ is still the power of God unto
salvation to every believer.
2. THEN OUR FAITH IS NOT VAIN. We are not trusting
a dead Saviour, but Him who is “the Resurrection and the
Life” (John 11. 25). It is no vain thing to trust in the
Living Lord, who had the power to lay down His life.130 Handfuls on Purpose.
and to take it agairt. He who conquered death and the
grave can easily restore our sickly faith and raise our
dying efforts from the tomb of uselessness.
3. THEN WE ARE NOT Now IN OUR SINS (v. 17). He
died for our sins, “but He rose again for our justification. ”
His death was the paying of the price. His resurrection
was the evidence that God had accepted the price paid for
our redemption. Now we who believe are accepted in
Him, being raised together with Him in the purpose of God.
4. THEN THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN ASLEEP IN CHRIST
ARE NOT PERISHED (v. 18). They are with their Lord,
who was the firstfruits from the dead (v. 23). “For if
we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also
which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him” when He
comes to be glorified in His saints (1 Thess. 4. 14, 15)
“Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall
raise up us also by Jesus” (2 Cor. 4. 14).
5. THEN WE ARE NOT OF ALL MEN THE MOST MISERABLE
(v. 19). Christians should be the happiest people on the
face of the earth. They have the best of all friends in
Jesus, the sweetest of all promises in God’s Word, the
greatest of all treasures in the fulness of Divine Grace.
They hold the highest of all earth’s positions in being the
servants of the Lord, crowned with honour and glory.
They enjoy the brightest of all prospects in the Coming
Kingdom. They shall reiglz with Him a thousand years
(Rev. 20. 6).
THE FINAL VICTORY.
1 CORINTHIANS 15. 51-58.
“THANKS be to God, who giveth us the victory through
our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 56).
I. Victory over Sin. “The sting of death is sin. ”
“0 death, where is thy s&g?” (w. 55, 56). Death is as.New Testament Outlines. 131
common as birth, as impartial as the law of gravitation,
and as uncertain as a thief. To the Christian death is
stingless, for the sting of sin was buried in the Crucified
Christ, who bore our sins in His own body to the tree.
The strength of sin is the Law, but His obedience unto the
death on our behalf met the just demands of the righteous-ness
of God. “Sin shall not have dominion over you ; for
ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6. 14).
The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ (John 1. 17). Thanks be to God, who
giveth us the victory over sin.
II. Victory over Mortality. “For this corruptible
must put on incorruption, and this mortal (body) must
put on immortality” (v. 53). These bodies of ours are to
share the victory of our Saviour’s resurrection when He
comes again. Then “in a moment, in the twinkling of an
eye, the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (those
who are still alive) shall be changed” (v. 52). “We that
are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened (with the
infirmities of the body) : not that we are ourselves to be
unclothed but clothed upon, that mortality might be
swallowed up of life” (2 Cor. 5. 4). He is longing for that
“house which is from Heaven, ” the new abode of the
Spirit. “It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual
body” (v. 44). Our resurrection bodies may differ in
Iustre, according to the lives we have lived. “For one
star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the
resurrection of the dead” (vv. 41, 42). “Thanks be to
God who giveth us this victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ. ”
III. Victory over Death. “0 death, where is thy
sting ? ” He hath swallowed up death (Isa. 25. 8). Christ
Himself took part of the same flesh and blood that through
death He might destroy him that had the power of death,
that is, the Devil, and deliver them who through fea? of.132 Handfuls on Purpose.
kztJz were in their lifetime subject to bondage (Heb. 2.
14, 15). Death has always been a winged monster to the
human race, where Christ and His resurrection is unknown.
For Jesus Christ hath abolished death, and hath brought
life and immortality to light through the Gospel (2
Tim. 1. 10). Thanks be to God who giveth us t& victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
IV. Victory over the Grave. “0 grave, where is thy
victory ? ” The hour is coming in the which all that are
in the graves shall hear His voice and come forth (John
5. 28). “The LORD HIMSELF shall descend from Heaven
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump
of God, and the dead iti Christ shall rise first” (1 Thess.
4. 16). Those who are the members of His Body shall be
the first to share in the triumph of their Lord over the
bondage and corruption of the grave. This is the first
resurrect ion. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in
the first resurrection, the terrors of the second death and
the second grave will have no power over them” (Rev.
20. 5, 6). “Therefore, beloved brethren, be ye stedfast,
unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in
the Lord” (v. 58). Thanks be to God who giveth us t/z&
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE TRIUMPHANT LIFE.
2 CORINTHIANS 2. 14-17.
“THANKS be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph
in Christ” (v. 14). The life that has always been led on
in triumph should indeed be a thankful one. There are so
many seeming failures in one’s experience. What are the
secrets of a victorious life ? In those few verses as above,
we note some of them..New Testament Outlines. 133
I. A Life in Christ. “God causeth us to triumph in
Ck?ist. ” There is no possibility of living the victorious
life, in God’s sight, out of Christ. To be in Christ is to
be at one with Him, and so entirely yielded to His will
that His will will be done in us. As the apostle put it,
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless ,I live, yet not
I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2. 20). “We know that
we dwell in Him, because He hath given us of His Spirit”
(1 John 4. 13).
II. A Life that Reveals Something of the Wisdom
of God. “He maketh manifest the savour of His know-ledge
by us” (v. 14). The guiding principle in the Chris-tian
life is the truth revealed in His Word (2 Cor. 4. 2).
Those led by the Spirit of God will surely be witnesses to
something higher and nobler than the wisdom of this
world, which is foolishness with God.
III. A Life that has a Sweet Savour of Christ unto
God. “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ”
(v. 15). “Christ gave Himself for us an offering to God
for a sweet smelling savour” (Eph. 5. 2). Those who have
been partakers of that offering are to be partakers also of
the same sweet savour unto God. He could say: “This is
My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, ” for He knew
that all His interests committed to His Son would be safe
and successful. Let us so seek to please God.
IV. A Life that Affects both Saved and Unsaved.
“A savour of Christ in them that are saved and in them
that perish” (v. 15). The influence of one Christian’s
life can be made a confirmation to another who loves the
same Lord. The “savour of Christ, ” like the fragrance of
the rose, can be easily detected by those who are saved,
but to those who are perishing it smells condemnation,
so they don’t like it (v. 16).
V. A Life True to the Word of God. “We are not as.134 Handfuls on Purpose.
many which corrupt the Word of God ” (v. 17). Those
who walk in craftiness are sure to handle the Word of God
deceitfully (chap. 4. 2). If the heart is not true to God,
the life will not be true to His Word. It is easy to corrupt
God’s message by mingling it with Christ-dishonouring
philosophies and the traditions of men. There can be no
spiritual victory for those who have gone out of the way
(Cal. 2. 8).
VI. A Life Lived in the Presence of God. “In the
sight of God speak we in Christ” (v. 17). Abiding in
Christ and practising the presence of God in the daily life
is the evidence of vanquishing power. This is the victory
that overcometh the world, our faith. Faith in Him who
is greater than all that can be against us. “If ye abide in
Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you” (John 15. 7). Not that we
are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves;
but our sufficiency is of God. “Thanks be to God who
giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ”
THE GOD OF THIS AGE. 2 CORINTHIANS 4. 1-7.
“THE god of this age hath blinded the thoughts of the
unbelieving, that the light of the Gospel of the glory of
Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon
them” (R.v., margin). This Scripture is burdened with
neglected but tremendous realities. There are mighty
spiritual forces that war against the higher interests of the
souls of men. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers, against the
rders of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness” (Eph. 6. 12). All under the leadership of
“the god of this age. ”
T. His Personality. This god is no mere phantom,.New Testament Outlines. 135
but a great and mighty spiritual individuality. So great
that even “Michael the archangel” did not dare to use
abusive terms when contending with him (Jude 9). It
was no ordinary wicked spirit that could dare to tempt the
Lord Jesus Christ with the kingdoms of this world (Matt.
4. 8, 9). Even the Lord did not sneer at his folly and
ridicule his presumption. He simply said: “Get thee
hence, Satan. ” This is not language suitable to some
unseen evil ircfluence, but to the “prince of devils. ”
II. His Position. He is “the god of t/z& age. ” This
age is the dispensation of the ministry of the Holy Spirit;
it is also the “hour and the power of darkness” (Luke
22. 53). In John’s Gospel Satan is called “the prince of
this world” three times; also “the prince of the power of
the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of dis-obedience”
(Eph. 2. 2). It was doubtless under his
influence that the rulers of this world killed the Prince of
Life, for he “deceiveth the whole world” (Rev. 12. 9).
The god of this age is not worshipped and obeyed as an
ugly, cruel-faced devil, but as an “angel of light, ” for
Satan has so transformed himself (2 Cor. 11. 14). He is
the great arch-deceiver in these latter days, when know-ledge
has increased and multitudes run too and fro upon
the earth.
III. His Purpose. It is to blind the thoughts that the
light of the Gosee of the glory of Christ should not dawn
upon them (v. 4). The Gospel of the coming glory of
Christ, when He shall pm! down all authority and power,
and take unto Himself His right to reign, must strike
terror into the heart of Satan; for then he will be spoiled
of his goods ; then “that great dragon, that old serpent
called the Devil and Satan, will be cast out” (Rev. 12. 9).
Why in this age is Satan so anxious to hinder, if possible,
the dawning of the light of the truth about His Coming
again in power and great glory ? Is it because this revela-.136 Handfuls on Purpose.
tion brings fresh inspiration and a more joyful confidence
into the hearts of Christ’s servants in these last and testing
days? But this diabolical purpose is being largely
thwarted now, in that multitudes of God’s people are
rejoicing in the light of the Gospel of that glory of the
kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is surely drawing
nigh.
IV. His Manner. How does he manage to blind the
thoughts of men to the light of the Gospel of the glory of
the coming Christ ? See how he dealt with our Lord when
tempting Him. Was he not trying to blind the thoughts
of Christ to the Father’s time and method of giving Him
the dominion of this world when he “showed Him all the
kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, ” and
offered them to Him for an act of obeisance ? Does he
not still show men the honours and pleasures of earth
that he might blind their thoughts to the greater and more
enduring things of the Kingdom of God and of His Christ ?
By putting a special lustre on material things it is not
difficult for the great deceiver to blind the eyes of men to
the things that are eternal. Even when the seed of God’s
Word has been sown in the heart, it is easy for this wicked
one to catch it away, by blinding the understanding with
confused interests (Matt. 13. 19). We are not ignorant
of his devices. Let us watch and be sober.
V. His Subjects are those which believe lzot (v. 4).
Those whose hearts are closed to the “light of the know-ledge
of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (v. 6), and fit
subjects and willing dupes to Satan’s delusions. They
cannot enter into the light and liberty of the sons of God
because of unbelief. They may have a growing desire for
the fictitious, the theatrical, and the sentimental, but the
things that belong to their eternal peace are still hid from
their eyes, and those counterfeits of the god of this age
become increasingly attractive. If he can only hide the.New Testament Outlines. 137
Gospel of Jesus Christ from their eyes he knows that his
purpose will be successful-they will be lost (v. 3). For
this is the condemnation that light is come into the world,
and men love darkness rather than the light. He that
believeth not is condemned already (John 3. 18, 19).
VI. His Overcomers are those into whose hearts “the
light of the knowledge of the glory of God hath shined”
(v. 6). The light of God’ s truth alone, as revealed in the
face of Jesus, can deliver from the power of darklzess,
which is the domain of Satan’ s operations. Here spiritual
death reigns ; but Christ, by His death, has delivered us
from this death and from him that had the poreter of death-the
Devil (Heb. 2. 14). Christ our Redeemer and Con-queror
now holds the keys of Hell and of death (Rev. 1. 18). He that is born of God keepeth himself, and that
wicked one toucheth him not (1 John 5. 18). Jesus said
to Peter, “Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have
you, but I have prayed for you that your faith fail not”
(Luke 22. 32). Listen to this joyful shout of final and
eternal victory that will ring from the Heavens: “Now is
come salvation and strength artd the kingdom of our God,
and the power of His Christ ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down! They overcame him by the Blood of the
Lamb” (Rev. 12. 10, 11). “Thanks be unto God who
giveth us the victory. ”
THE IDEAL LIFE.
2 CORINTHIANS 4. 7-11.
GOD is being pleased to manifest Himself. In creation
God is manifesting His wisdom and almightiness in the
works of His hands. “The heavens declare the glory of
God, and the earth His handiwork. ” In Jesus Christ
God is manifesting His love in merciful plenitude for our
salvation. In the lives of the redeemed He desires to VOL. x. 10.138 Handfuls on Purpose.
manifest His saving and satisfying grace for a witness
and encouragement to the unbelieving; for the life of
Jews is to be made manifest in our mortalflesh (w. 10, 11).
The life of Jesus is the ideal life, and the life of the Chris-tian
is to be, in measure, a spiritual reproduction.
Many lives of Christ have been witten, but the most
effective and God-honouring is the living one. “The life
of Jesus made manifest in our body. ” Let us think of it.
The life of the Lord Jesus was-I.
A Life from God. He was born from above (Luke
1. 35). He could say: “I am from above: I came down
from Heaven. ” He was God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim.
3. 16). If then, the life of Jesus is to be manifest in our
mortal flesh, we must be born of God, born from above.
“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom
of God. ” How then can he live the life of Jesus if he has
not received the Jesus’ life ? Christ must live in us if
His life is to be manifested by us (Gal. 2. 20).
II. A Life Entirely Yielded to God. It was a life
fully surrendered to the Divine will. At His baptism he
gave Himself up to fulfil the righteousness of God. He
said : “The Son can do nothilag of Himself, but what He
seeth the Father do” (John 5. 19). He also spake the
zt~ords of the Father (John 14. 10). “My doctrine, ” he
declared, “is not Mine, but His that sent Me” (John
7. 16). The keynote of His life was: “Not My will, but
Thine be done. ” What an example for all who desire to
live the life of Jesus in their mortal bodies. Entire
surrender to God’s Word and will and work was needful
for Him. How can it be less needful for us in seeking
to live His life and to do His work ? “Yield yourselves
unto God as those that are alive from the dead” (Rom. 6.13).
III. A Life Empowered by the Spirit of God. John
bare record, saying: “I saw the Spirit descending from.New Testament Outlines. 139
Heaven like a dove, and it abode u$on Him. ” God
anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with
power (Acts 10. 38). Being made in the likeness of sinful
flesh, He made Himself dependent on the power of the
Holy Spirit given Him by the Father (see Isa. 11. 2, 3),
and when He began His public ministry He testified that
“the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath
anointed Me to preach the Gospel” (Luke 4. 18). He
knew that all His disciples needed this spiritual enduement
from on high if they were to be true witnesses for Him.
So He told them to tarry at Jerusalem z&d they were
endued. How can we expect to live this life of Jesus
without this gift? There is no substitute on earth for
spiritual power. There is no excuse for being without it.
For the promise is to you and to all that are afar off
(Acts 2. 29).
IV. A Life of Unwaveritig Faith in God. His face
was steadfastly set to do the will of His Father at any cost.
Because of this attitude and His devotion, He must needs
suffer. The holiness of His character brought suffering,
because He could not be understood by sinful and wicked
men. He suffered through His faithfulness in testifying
against the world’s evil works (John 7. 7). He was not
of the world, therefore the world hated Him (John 15. 9).
He suffered because of His intense love for blind, deluded
sinners, as seen in His tears over guilty Jerusalem. Yet
withal, His faith in the Father had no tqmor of doubt. “If
any man will live godly he must suffer. ” How ready we are
to shrink from seeking to live “the life of Jesus” in our
mortal bodies, because of the testing conditions that are
sure to follow. This is when a steadfast faith is needed.
But who is sufficient for these things ? Our sufficiency is
of God (2 Cor. 3. 5). “For it is God Himself who worketh
in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil.
2. 13)..140 Handfuls on Purpose.
V. A Life of Concentrated Activity. His first
recorded utterance was : “Wist ye not that I must be about
My Fa they’ s business ? ” The Father’ s business was His
life’s business. Never was there any one more diIigent in
business than Jesus. “Lo, I come, in the volume of the
Book it is written of Me. I delight to do Thy will, 0 My
God” (Psa. 40. 7). In our Lord’s ministry there was no
dissipation of interest or of energy. Everything was
subordinate to the known will of His Father. If this
feature of the character of Jesus is to be manifest in our
present life, then we also must be willing to make our-selves
of no reputation, and take the form of a servant, by
putting on His yoke, that we might learn of Him meekness
and lowliness of heart; and so in fellowship with Him in
service, manifest in our bodies the devotion of Jesus
Christ. “This one thing I do. “
VI. A Life Crowned with Victory. It was one
prolonged battle, with one prolonged victory. His words
were all victories of wisdom. His miracles were all
victories over human weaknesses. His dying was His
victory over the world’s sin, in the breaking down of the
great barrier that stood in the way of man’s approach to
God. His resurrection was His victory over mortality,
death, and the grave. He knew no defeat. May we who
are called upon to manifest “the life of Jesus” in our
mortal flesh, expect to have victory all along our pilgrim
life ? Has God made provision for victory or defeat ?
Was the apostle fearful because of the infirmities of the
flesh when he said: “Thanks be to God, who always
cazlseth us to triumph in Chkt” (2 Cor. 2. 14). Again,
“Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through 0~47
Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15. 54). If Jesus Christ has
conquered in us, then in all these things we are more than
conquerors (Rom. 8. 37). We have this treasure in
earthelz vessels, that the excellence of the power may be.New Testament Outlines. 141
of God (v. 7). “Bear about . . . the dying of the Lord
Jesus, that the life of Jesus may be manifest in the body”
(v. 10). “Not I, but Christ. ”
THE GREAT CHANGE.
2 CORINTHIANS 5. 14-21.
THE experiences of a Christian may not all be Christian
experience. Experiences may be as varied as Christians
themselves. But there are some radical and fundamental
experiences that lie at the root of every real Christian life.
Here are some of them. We shall note-I.
The Change Needed. “If One died for all, t,%ela
were all dead” (v. 14). “Death passed upon all men, for
that all have sinned” (Rom. 5. 12). “The wages of sin is
death. ” Sin separates from God, and to be separated from
God is spiritual death. A change is needed, not in God,
but in the condition of the soul that is already lost to
Him because of sin.
II. The Change Wrought. “If any man be irt Christ, he is a new creation” (v. 17). To be iti Christ is to be
trusting Him so entirely that God is pleased in grace to
reckon the righteousness of His Son as for us. In this new
creation old things have passed away. No man can create
himself. We are His workmamhip. “Created in Christ
Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2. 10). The change is
so great that “all things become new, ” both in us and
around us, because the heaart is renewed and the eyes are
enlightened.
III. The Divine Method in Accomplishing this
Change. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to
Himself” (v. 19). Yes, in Jesus of Nazareth this lowly
Man of Sorrows, GOD was seeking to reconcile a world.142 Handfuls on Purpose.
at enmity with Himself. 1% Christ we meet with this
seeking and forgiving God, finding salvation and newness
of life, being justified freely by Hks grace, tlwough the
redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3. 24). “By
grace are ye saved through faith. ” “It is of faith that it
might be by grace” (Rom. 4. 16).
IV. The Evidence of this Change. “He died for all
that they which live should not henceforth live unto them-selves,
but zlnto Him who died for them” (v. 15). The
evidence that we have of being redeemed and transformed
is a changed attitude towards ourselves and our Lord.
It is not “I” now, but “Christ. ” He gave Himselj
that He might redeem us. Now henceforth it must
be ourselves for Him. This new purpose in life is
surely what is expected from a new creature. Let
the time past suffice for the love of self, the will of
the flesh, and the pride of place. The grace of God
that saved us now teacheth us to deny worldly lust
and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present
world (Titus 2. 12). For God hath called us unto
holiness (1 Thess. 1. 7).
V. The Responsibilities Connected with this
Change. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ ” (v. 20).
We are Christ’ s representatives in the world, both as to His
character and His @@ose. In Christ’ s stead we are to
beseech men to be reconciled to God. Having been
reconciled to God by Jesus Christ, there is committed
unto us “the milzistry of reconciliation” (v. 18). Thank
God, it is not the ministry of hopeless damnation. God
is not waiting to be reconciled to men, but to reconcile
men to Himself. As ambassadors, we are not left to our
own resources. We are workers together with Him (chap.
6. 1). Out of His fulness are we all to receive. Let us
lahour and pray that souls may be won for Christ and His
Kingdom.New Testament Outlines. 143
A GALL TO SEPARATION.
2 CORINTHIANS 6. 14-18; 7. 1.
THE Christian is not of the world, but has been sent into
it as a new creature, to be a witness for Jesus Christ
(John 17. 18). The danger is to compromise with the
evil customs and false doctrines with which he is sur-rounded.
I. Why is Separation Needed? Because the two
great currents of influence in the world are diametrically
opposed to each other. “The Spirit of Truth and the
spirit of error, ” The purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ and
“the god of this age” are vastly different.
1. “WHAT FELLOWSHIP hath righteousness with unright-eousness
? ” How can the righteousness of God and the
unrighteousness of Godless men abide in fellowship ?
2. “WHAT COMMUNZON hath light with darkness ? ”
Darkness, it is said, is the natural condition of the
universe. Light is its conqueror. “Ye were sometime
darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. ” Walk as
children of light. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful
works of darkness (Eph. 5. 6-11).
3. “WHAT CONCORD hath Christ with Belial ? ” What
harmony can exist between the Holy Christ and pure
vileness and worthlessness? (Deut. 13. 13).
4. “WHAT PART hath he that believeth with an infidel? ”
The part of the believer is the knowledge of God and the
joy of His salvation. What is the part of the infidel ?
5. “WHAT AGREEMENT hath the temple of God with
idols ? “Ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God
dwelleth in you” (1 Cor. 3. 16). How could the Spirit of
God agree to that which would dethrone God? Separation
is absolutely needed.
II. The Call to Separation. “Come out from among.144 Handfuls on Purpose.
them, and be ye separate; saith the Lord, and touch not
the unclean ” (v. 17). God at the first “divided the light
from the darkness” (Gen. 1. 4), and ever since man has
been trying to blend them. The carnal and the spiritual,
the works of the flesh, with the works of the Spirit. In
our minds and hearts, in our thoughts and affections, there
is to be an exodus from the dominion of world influences,
and a complete surrender of ourselves to the call of God.
“Set your affections on things above, not on things on the
earth, for ye are risen with Christ, and your life is hid
with Christ in God” (Eph. 3. l-3). They are reckoned
enemies of the Cross who are devoted to earthly things
(Phil. 3. 18, 19). “Ye cannot serve God and mammon. ”
Therefore come out and be separated for God and for His
Christ.
III. The Promises Made to the Separated.
1. “I WILL RECEIVE YOU)) (v. 17). You are not going
out into cold isolation. When you separate yourself for
God, you are but going closer into His arms, and nearer
to His heart. The man of the world may look upon you
with wondering pity, because he has no experience of
fellowship with God or of victory by His constraining
Spirit.
2. “I WILL BE A FATHER UNTO YOU” (v. 18). Our God
knows how very much we shall need Him when we are
separated for Him. So He promises, and will act the true
Fatherly part toward His devoted children. They can
joyfully say : “Behold, what manner of love the Father
hath bestowed upon us” (1 John 3. 1). Fear not, He will
not fail thee.
Having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let
us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and
spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord (chap.
7. 1). Father, I will..New Testament Outlines. 145
OUR WARFARE.
2 CORINTHIANS 10. 3-7.
THE idea of warfare here is very emphatic. It is a bloodless
struggle for the higher life. Being deserters from the
camp of Satan, we must expect conflict, but greater is He
that is for us.
I. Our Enemy. Our enemy consists of allied forces.
There is-1.
THE FLESH, OR CARNAL MIND. “Though we walk in
the flesh (body) we do not war after the flesh” (v. 3).
“The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against
the flesh. ” The carnal mind is a sworn enemy to the
things of the Spirit. It is a rebel against the law of God
(Rom. 8. 7). The worldly mind is essentially opposed to
the mind of the Spirit. To be carnally minded is death.
2. IMAGINATIONS. “Casting down imaginations” (v.
5). Those high-flying renegade thoughts that would carry
us to the palace called vanity, and that seeks to put the
crown of pride, upon our self-satisfaction. Such vain
imaginings are dangerous to the soul’s highest good
(Psa. 2. 1).
3. EVERY THING THAT EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE
KNOWLEDGE OF GOD (v, 5). Every thought and feeling
and act that springs up from a doubting heart against the
word, the will, and the wisdom of God is vile presumption.
Everything that is moral in the “old man” seeks to exalt
itself. Beware of pride.
II. Our Weapons. The weapons of our warfarti-1.
ARE NOT CARNAL (v. 4). They don’t belong to the
“old nature. ” They are not man-made. Not a product of
human ingenuity. Spiritual enemies cannot be overcome
by material weapons. We cannot overcome evil with
evil. “Railing for railing” and such like are of the flesh
and not of God..146 . Handfuls on Purpose.
2. THEY ARE MIGHTY THROUGH GOD. They are mighty
because God’s hand grips them, and that hand is almighty.
These are His weapons for bringing down the “strong-holds”
of unbelief, sin, and Satan, and breaking the wings
of our vain and lofty imaginations, and everything that
would exalt itself “against the knowledge of God. ” This
unbending and never-failing weapon is the “Word of
God” in the hand of the Holy Spirit, for the sword of the
Spirit is the Word of God (Eph. 6. 17). With this weapon
of His Truth, we are also, through faith, to be more than
conquerors. “For the Word of God is quick and $owerful,
sharper than any two-edged sword, and is a discerner of
the thoughts and intests of the heart” (Heb. 4. 12). Like
the sword of Goliath, “There is none like it. Give it me. ”
III. Our Victory
1. Is SURE. “The @&ng down of strongholds” (v. 4).
The first stronghold that has to be pulled down is our own
self-will. This is the citadel of the carnal man. Here we
have victory by surrendering to the Prince of Life. When
our wills have been conquered by the subduing power of
His mighty love, then we become partakers of the Divine
nature, and are brought into league with Christ Himself,
and so become, by His grace, victors over sin and the
strongholds of Satan. “Be strong in the Lord, and in the
power of His might” (Eph: 6. 10).
2. IT IS TO BE COMPLETE. “Bringing into captivity
every thmght to the obedience of Christ” (v. 5). When a
fort has been captured, fhen all that are in it are taken
prisoners. Thoughts are fugitive things, and have to be
watched and restrained, “for as a man thilzketh, so is he. ”
Thoughts constitute character. Pure thinking leads to
noble action. They are the subtle weapons of life’s war-fare.
How important then it is that our thoughts should
be brought into captivity to the will of Jesus Christ..New Testament Outlines. 147
Thoughts require mastering. Who can guide, sanctify,
and use them as Christ can ? Under His control they
become weapons of triumph. Thoughts are difficult
things to get hold of, but when captured by Christ, He
will hold them for thoughts are captured when they are
captivated. Like Rebekah, they say, “I will go with this
Man” (Gen. 24. 58). We can bring out thoughts into the
captivity of obedience of Christ by keeping steadfastly
“look&g umto Jesus, ” who is the Author and Finisher of
our faith, the Yubducr of our wills, the W&zev of our
affections, the Caktor of our thoughts, and the Giver of
every good and perfect gift. “What think ye of Christ 7 ”
POWER IN WEAKNESS.
2 CORINTHIANS 12. l-10.
THE personal experiences of the apostle, as recorded in
those verses, are deep with significance for all who are
persistently staggering after his example.
I. A New Revelation. “He was caught up, and
heard unspeakable words” (v. 4). This revelation was
for himself alone, therefore it was unutterable to others.
We can only know its character by its fruits, for by their
fruits ye shall know them; and the fruits as seen here are
worthy of the God of all grace. Special revelations are
given to many of God’s faithful servants, when their
minds and thoughts are cauglzt up by the Holy Spirit, as
on wings of faith and hope, into the highest Heavens
(Ezek. 11. 24; Acts 8. 39), where they see and hear things
which the language of mortals cannot fully express.
They are precious seasons of the consciousness of God’s
presence, and the reality and power of eternal things.
II. A New Trial. “There was given to me a thorn
in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, to buffet me, lest I.148 Handfuls on Purpose.
should be exalted above measure” (v. 7). New trials
usually come after new visions. God knows that pride
goeth before a fall, so He permitted Satan to drive this
stake of affliction into his body. What it really was it is
difficult to say. To the Galatians he wrote : “Ye know that
through the itifivmity of the flesh I preached unto you the
Gospel” (Gal. 4. 13). He was still more anxious to pre&h
the Gospel than glory in his special revelation. It is better,
in His eyes, that we should be witnessing for Christ than
revelling in our new discoveries, but know that these are
not contradictory, but complementary.
III. A New Promise. “My grace is sufficient for thee :
for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (v. 9). The
power of this weakness is abundantly evident in 1 Corin-thians
2. 3-5. This is not the weakness of ignorance or
of unbelief, but that of conscious self-inefficiency and
entire dependence on the offered grace of God. If God’s
strength is to be made perfect in weakness, surely here is
an opportunity for all of us. But it is much easier for
some to be self-confident than self-emptied. To be full
of self-confidence is to be empty of the power of God.
God will not give His glory to another for self-display.
Humble thyself, and He will exalt thee.
IV. A New Source of Gladness. “Most gladly
therefore will I rather glory irt infirmities, that the power
of Christ may rest upon me” (v. 9). GZor_yilzg in our
infirmities is something nobler than merely submitting
1 to them. But no one can glory in afflictions because they
are afflictions; but if by faith we can see them to be the
Divinely appointed means whereby we are made more
effective witnesses to the power of Christ, then we may
gladly glory in them. It is common for Christian workers
to find gladness in their gifts, but not so common to find
gladness in their irtfirmities. Rejoice in the Lord alway:
He doeth all things well..New Testament Outlines. 149
V. A New Resolution. “Therefore I take pleasure in
infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in distresses for
Christ’ s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong”
(v. 10). He took pleasure in every trial and hardship that
made him fee1 more keenly the measure of his weakness,
knowing that this only made more room in his life for the
/ grace and power of God. We glory in tribulation, knowing
! that tribulation work&h patience, experience, hope
I (Rom. 5. 3). “No chastening for the present seemeth to
be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless aftervard it yieldeth
peaceable fruit unto them that are exercised thereby”
(Heb. 12. 11). Let this afterward strengthen our faith for
the present.
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
GALATIANS 1. 3-9.
THE Gosfiel of Christ is simply the good news concerning
Christ. The Law was given by Moses, but grace and
truth, that is, the favour and exact expression of God,
came by Jesus Christ (John 1. 17, 18).
I. What is Offered to Men in this Gospel ?
1. FORGIVENESS. “He gave Himself for our sins ”
(v. 4). Here we have God’s best, in contact with man’s
worst. The Holiest One in Heaven, with the foulest
thing on earth. What must sin be in the eyes of God,
when it took the life and death, and all the wealth of the
character of His own Son to put it away ? Now in Him we
have redemption through His Blood, and the forgivetiess
of s&s (Eph. 1. 7).
2. DELIVERANCE. “That He might deliver us from this
present evil age” (v. 4). Although forgiven and justified,
we are still here in the midst of all the evils of this present
age, and need to be delivered and continually kept from
their enthralment. “He is able to keep you from falling. ”.150 Handfuls on Purpose.
3. GRACE AND PEACE (v. 3). Grace sufficient to meet
your every need, and the peace of God to keep your hearts
and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil. 4. 7). Bless God
for such a full salvation.
II. How are these Blessings to be Received ? How
can I make sure that they are mine ? “Him that called
YOU into the grace of Christ” (v. 6). The Gospel brings
God’s call to the soul to enter into the full enjoyment of
that grace abounding which is in Christ Jesus. There is
no other way but by the obedience of faith. You believe
the message, you obey the call, and the grace of God does
all the rest (1 John 3. 5). “He is faithful that bath
promised. ”
III. How Can this Gospel be Perverted? “There
be some who would pervert the Gospel of Christ” (v. 7).
The Gospel in itself cannot be perverted: it is always and
everywhere the same. But it can be so misre+resented
that the minds and thoughts of men may get a very
distorted view of its real character. The Judaizer taught
that they must be circumcised to receive the full benefits
of the Gospel of Christ. We Gentiles are not concerned
about being circumcised; but there are many who think
that they ought to be compromised, that God will save
them because of their moral character and good works.
This is a perverted view of the Gospel of Christ. Anything
we can do, or be, will never add any value to the saving
grace of God in Jesus Christ. “While we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us” (Rom. 5. 8). Therefore it is by faith
that it might be by grace (Rom. 4. 16). “The gift of God
is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. ”
IV. There is No Other Way. “Though we, or an
angel from Heaven, preach any other Gospel, let him be
accursed” (vv. 8, 9). Neither the wisdom of the ages,
nor all time, nor eternity, will ever produce another.New Testament Outlines. 151
Gospel whereby sinful men-without the grace of God in
Jesus Christ His Son-can be saved. “There is MOM other
Name under Heaven given among men, whereby ye can be
saved” (Acts 4. 12). Jesus said: “I am the Way, the
Truth, and the Life; so man cometh unto the Father
bzct by ME. ” “He that believeth on the 9on hath ever-lasting
life, and he that believeth lzot the Son shall not
see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John
3. 36). Believest thou this?
“THE LIFE I NOW LIVE. m
GALATIANS 2. 16-21.
THIS was certainly not the Iife he used to live, when he
was “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against
the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9. I), but it is a brief
spiritual autobiography of the life he now lived. It is-I.
A Life Justified Without the Deeds of the Law.
“By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified”
(v. 16). If we have offended in one point, we have broken
the law. The law cannotforgive sin, but by the law is the
knowledge of sin (Rom. 3. 20). To be justified in God’s
sight is to be free from gztilt. So free from punishment.
II. A Life Imparted Through Faith in Jesus Christ.
“We have believed in Jesus Christ that we might be justified
by faith in Christ ” (v. 16). Thus by faith in Christ the
righteousness of God is imputed to the believer. The law
is but our schoolmaster to bring us to Chrisf, that we might I
be justified by faith (Gal. 3. 24). “Abraham believed
God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness”
(Rom. 4. 3). This is the Divine law of grace. “There-fore
being justified by faith, we have peace with God. ”
’ III. A Life Lived Unto God. “I am dead to the law
that I might live unto God” (v. 19). Being now delivered.152 Handfuls on Purpose.
from the terrors of the law, and the ensnaring power of
sin ; saved out of the self-life into the happy freedom
wherewith Christ hath made His believing ones free, his
one absorbing purpose is to love, honour, and obey Him
who hath redeemed by the Blood of His Son and brought
into sweet communion with Himself.
IV. A Life Crucified with Christ. “I am crucified
with Christ” (v. 20). The old man, with all his fleshly
passions and lusts is crucified with Christ, that the body
of sin might be destroyed (Rom. 6. 6). In the Cross of
Christ he sees the whole body of his sinful nature nailed
to the tree, and in this he gloried. “God forbid that I
should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the
world” (chap. 6. 14). Crucifixion is a painful remedy,
but it is effectual.
V. A Life Indwelt by Christ. It is now, “Not I,
but Christ liveth in Me. ” He has now become, as it were,
a new personality. A new will, a new purpose, and a new
power now rules and reigns. Where Christ dwells is
always a centre of attraction, like the home in Bethany.
To be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner
man is as Christ dwelling in the heart. This comes by
faith (Eph. 3. 16, 17). Christ’s indwelling is manifested
by the Holy Spirit’s presence and power. “Herein know
we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath
given us of His Spirit” (John 4. 13).
VI. A Life Continued by Faith in the Son of God.
“The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son
of God” (v. 20). This life begun by faith in Christ, is to
be perpetuated by a cont&tuo~s act of faith in Christ. By
grace are we saved through faith, all the way long. Ours
is a life of faith in the Son of God. We live by faith, not
by sight. Continue in the faith, and be not moved away.New Testament Outlines. 153
from this doctrine. He that endureth to the end in this
steadfast attitude of unfailing trust will be saved with a
full salvation. “Without faith it is impossible to please
Him” (Heb. 11. 6).
LAW-GRACE-FAITH.
GALATIANS 3. 6-14.
THESE three, but the greatest of these is “grace. ” The
law shows us our need. Grace reveals God’ s provision to
meet that need. Faith is the personal application of that
provision to meet that need.
I. By the Law there is Condemnation.
1. IT DEMANDS A PERFECT OBEDIENCE. “Cursed is
every one that continueth not in all t?zings written in the
law to do them” (v. 10). “He that offendeth in ooze point
is guilty of all. ” You cannot break one link without
breaking the whole chain.
2. IT CANNOT JUSTIFY A TRANSGRESSION. “No man is
justified by the law in the sight of God” (v. 11). It is
easy for us to justify ourselves in our own eyes, but then
it is witlt God we have to do. This was the delusion of the
Pharisees (Luke 16. 15).
3. To BE TRUSTING THE WORKS OF THE LAW IS TO BE
UNDER THE CURSE (v. 10). That is a withering sentence
against those who are hoping to earn eternal life by their
trying to obey the just demands of the law. “Whatsoever
things the law saith, it saith to them that are wader the
law, that every mouth may be stopped” (Rom. 3. 19).
The law would shut us up, that we might look to Christ.
II. By Grace there is Salvation. “Grace came by
Jesus Christ” (John 1. 17).
1. “CHRIST HATH REDEEMED us FROM THE CURSE OF
THE LAW” (v. 13). Jesus Christ hath bought us with His VOL. x. 11.154 Handfuls on Purpose.
own Blood. We now belong to Him and are not under the
law. So we are freed from its curse. One is your Master
now, even Christ.
2. BY “BEING MADE A CURSE FOR Us. ” “He was made
under the law, that He might redeem them that were under
the law” (Gal. 4. 4, 5). He became under the law, that
He might come into contact with those who were under the
curse. He could not be made a curse for us by becoming
disobedient to the law. He said: “I am not come to
destroy the law, but to fdfd” (Matt. 5. 17). He willingly
took the place and curse of those under the law, and bore
their penalty when He was hanged on a tree (v. 13). He
died for us, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring
us to God.
3. CHRIST REDEEMED us “that we Might Receive the
Promise of the Spirit” (v. 14). It is a great blessing for
US to be delivered from the curse and dominion of the law.
It is also a great honour to Christ that we should be
possessed by His S+irit and made witnesses for Him. Is
not this the ultimate purpose of our redemption ? Saved
to serve. He hath redeemed us that we might receive the
promise of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is promised to
every believer in Jesus, and a promise is for faith. “Have
ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed ? ” (Acts 19.2).
III. By Faith there is Justification. “The just shall
live by faith” (v. 11). Abraham was justified by faith
because he believed the promise (v. 6). This was 430
years before the law was given. The promise of eternal
life, given us in Christ, which the Scripture foresaw before
Abraham (v. 8) is an infinitely greater revelation of God
than the law given by Moses. The law offers no promise,
but is a command with a penalty for disobedience. Having
no promise, then it cannot be by faith. The Gospel is a
glorious God-honouring promise, therefore the appeal is.New Testament Outlines. 155
to faith. “All that believe are justified from all things. ”
“He that heareth my Word, and believeth in Him that
sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall lzot come into
condemnation” (John 5. 24). As the Gospel is offered in
promise, then salvation cannot be by works. Where is
boasting then ? It is excluded, By what law ? Of works ?
Nay, but by the law of faith (Rom. 3. 27).
THE PURPOSE OF THE INCARNATION.
GALATIANS 4. 4-7.
I. The Time. “When the ftihess of the time was
come” (v. 4). There is no $rematuve action in the Divine
Providence. He does not pluck unripe fruit. The time
was ripe for the coming of the long promised Seed (Gen.
3. 15). The Mosaic age had come to its close. “Now
once in the end of the age He appeared to put away
sin” (Heb. 9. 26). The psychological moment had
arrived, prophetically and politically, for the Coming
of Him who was to bring to the sons of men the new age
of saving grace.
II. The Person. “God sent forth Hz’s Solz” (v. 4).
The pre-existence of the Son is clearly implied. “In the
beginning was the Word” (John 1. 1). “He is before all
thtgs” (COI. 1. 1 7 ). “He only could speak of the glory
which He had with the Father before the world was” (John
17. 5). “It was by His Son God mude the world” (Heb.
1. 2). Now by His Son He seeks to save it. What a
“good-bye” among the angels when He left His Father’s
Home to take the form of sinful flesh, and become “God
manifest in the flesh. ” It is humiliating to think that
there are teachers so blind and so presumptuous as to say
that this Christ was a product of the age. “God loved the
world, and sent His only begotten Son” (John 3. 16)..i56 Handfuls on Purpose.
III. The Manner. “Made of a woman ” (v. 4). With
regard to His physical nature, He was born of a woman;
but He was never called the Son of Mary. He was not the
Son of Joseph. But He called Himself “Tlze Son of Man, ”
the Son of humanity, as if the blood of the whole race was
in His veins. He was the Child of all ages and of all
nations. “Unto us a child is born ; unto us a Son is given. ”
As a child in human form He was born; but as a Son in the
likeness of His Father He was giveti (Isa. 9. 6). “Made
zmder t3ze law. ” No angel ever knew what it was to be
under the law, yet He who was higher than the angels,
humbled Himself to become a debtor to do the whole law,
and to be obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.
Neither the law, nor any of His accusers, nor the prince of
this world, could find anything against Him (John 14. 30).
Worthy is the Lamb I
IV. The Purpose. When the clock of time struck the
appointed hour, God sent forth His Son.
1, To REDEEM “them that were under the law” (v. 5).
All were under the law, and all were under the curse
(chap. 3. lo), and the only way of escape from the curse
was by a Divinely ordained redemption : for no man could
“redeem his brother. ” He gave Himself as the Surety
for an insolvent humanity.
2. “THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE THE ADOPTION OF SONS”
(v. 5). This sonship is based on redemption. There are
those who teach that Christ came to reveal the Fatherhood
of God and the brotherhood of man. These facts are
implied in the teaching of Christ, but NEVER is it stated
that He came and suffered and died to make this known.
“He came to seek and to save the lost. ” He came to
redeem us, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
All men are God’s creatures, but only those who have
been reconciled to God by the death of His Son can have.New Testament Outlines. 157
the true spirit of sonship (v. 6). Sonship implies family
likeness. “All one in Christ. ”
3. “IF A SON, THEN AN HEIR OF GOD. ” “An heir of
God Uzlzrough Centrist” (v: 7). “If children, then heirs of
God, and joilzt-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8. 16). All who
are in Christ are heirs with Him of that inheritance of
“honour and glory” which is now His, being exalted to
the right hand of God. This is an inheritance incorrupt-ible,
undefiled, and reserved in Heaven for you (1 Peter
1. 3, 4). “All are yours, for ye are Grists, and Christ is God’ s” (1 Cor. 3. 23). “What think ye of Christ ? ”
SOWING AND REAPING.
GALATIANS 6. 7-9.
IN chapter 5, verses 17-25, there is a description of the
works of the flesh and the fruit cd the Spirit. The contrast
is between rottenness and perfect soundness, between the
basest and the best. The works of the flesh are separate individual acts. The fruit-not fruits-of the Spirit are
all of one, but manifold in its expression. This fruit is
the outcome of the energy of the indwelling Spirit, and “against such there is no law, ” because they are above
and beyond the law. Now he speaks about sow& to the flesh and sowing to the Spirit. Here we have-I.
An Unalterable Law. “Whatsoever a man soweth
tkat shall he also reap” (v. 7).
1. THE SEED. The harvest will not be according to
how much we know, but how much we sow. There may be a large stock of seed in the barn of the mind, but unless
planted in suitable soil there shall be no profit in the time
of harvest. The seeds of thought are sown in words and
deeds. The “Word of God” is the incorruptible seed
(1 Peter 1. 23). That always brings forth fruit “after
its kind. ”.158 Handfuls on Purpose.
2. THE SOIL. There are two classes of soil: the flesh
and the Spirit. To sow to the flesh is to sow rotten seed,
in a poisonous soil. Nothing can come from it but cor-ruption.
We sow to the flesh when we sow to our carnal
self-pleasing, worldly lives. The’re is nothing in this for
the honour of God, so it will rot like a lifeless carcass.
To sow to the Spirit is to sow to the revealed will of God,
that which is pleasing unto Him. Then the fruit of the
Spirit will appear.
II. A Solemn Reminder. “Be not deceived, God is
not mocked” (v. 7). No one can ever gather “grapes from
thorns, ” or “figs from thistles, ” or the fruit of the Spirit
from the works of the flesh. The flesh is bad, and cannot
bring forth good fruit in the sight of God. The Spirit is
good, and cannot bring forth evil fruit (Matt. 7. 17, 18).
By their fruits ye shall know them.
1. BE NOT DECEIVED. ’ It is easy to deceive ourselves
by false expectations, by trusting to a@earances, by
being guided by our feelings, instead of God’s Word.
We deceive ourselves when we think it matters not what
we sow, if only we mean well. Would that be wholesome
advice for a farmer ? Most certainly the self-life will never
produce the fruit of the Spirit.
2. GOD IS NOT MOCKED. He is not going to be silenced
and put to shame by men’s indifference and unbelief, in
regard to this great eternal law, that spiritual things can
never be produced by carnal things. The unrenewed man
cannot bring forth the fruits of the new creation. The
flesh and the Spirit are as different as death and life. The
Christless man sows to the fleshly life, and reaps corrup-tion.
The Christian sows to the Eternal Spirit and reaps
life everlasting (v. 8).
III. A Word of Encouragement. “Be not weary in
well-doing : for in dzte season we shall reap if we faint not”.New Testament Outlines. 159
(v. 9). We have much need of this cheerful word in these
conflicting days. The season for us to reap the final
harvest from all our spiritual sowing is not yet due; but
the firstfruits are being gathered, when the personal
character is being made rich with the graces of the Holy
Spirit. Some weary themselves looking for the fruits
of their labours, and get discouraged because they seem so
scanty and poor. Let such seek more earnestly that the
f&t of the S#irit may be manifested in their own lives,
and God will look after the fruit of their labours (John 15.5).
CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCES.
EPHE~IANs 1. 3-14.
THIS is a marvellous and comprehensive statement of
Divine grace and of the believers’ progressive discovery of
its riches. “Blessed with all spiritual blessings in the
heavenlies in Christ” (v. 3). The apostle’ s view is from the Divine standpoint. “Chosen in Him before the founda-tion
of the world” (v. 4)’ then following step by step down
to the day that “ye heard the Gospel of your salvation”
(v. 13). It might help us to reverse this order, and take
the truths as they appeal to Christian ex#erieNce.
I. “Ye Heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of
your Salvation” (v. 13). What a Gospel this is. Good
news of Christ’ s redeeming love, that has its origin away
back in the eternal purpose of the Eternal God. To hear
it is to behold the open door into the fulness of blessing
in the favour of a reconciled God.
II. “Ye Trusted after that ye Heard the Word of
Truth” (v. 13). It is not enough to hear, there must
needs be the committal of the heart’ s affections and con-fidence.
This trust is the personal a$$‘ ro+riation of the
offer God has made in Jesus Christ. “Ye are all the chil-dren
of God by faith in Jesus Ckist” (Gal. 3. 26)..160 Handfuls on Purpose.
III. Ye were Sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise
“After that ye believed” (v. 13). The Holy Spirit of
Promise has been given as an earnest in our hearts of all
that God hath laid up in store for His children (2 Cor.
1. 22). “Ye are sealed until the day of final and perfect
redemption” (Eph. 4. 30). Ye are claimed by Him and
stamped with His signature.
IV. Ye have Redemption through His Blood (v. 7).
Ye were not sealed that ye might be redeemed, but because
ye have been redeemed. He gave Himself for us that He
might redeem us from all iniquity (Tit. 2. 14). He was
the “Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. ”
Redem$tiort is an older thought than creation, and will be
the theme of the final song (Rev. 5. 9).
V. Ye have the Forgiveness of Sins, and that
“According to the riches of His grace” (v. 7). Bought
by the precious Blood of Christ, and forgives according to
the infinite riches of almighty grace. Oh, how marvellous
is His lovingkindness to us, who deserved nothing but His
righteous condemnation. He hath loved our souls
out of the pit, and called us sons of God (1 John 3. 1).
VI. Ye are Accepted in the Beloved (v. 6). Yes,
already accepted in Him in all our ignorance, weakness,
failure, and conscious helplessness, through faith in
Christ. God is pleased to wrap the trusting soul within
the folds of the riches of His grace in Christ Jesus that
we might be to the praise of His glory (v. 6). How
gladly and fully did the Father accept the Son when He
praised Him from the dead. That is the measure of your
acceptance in Him.
VII. Ye have Obtained an Inheritance. “In Him
also we have obtained an inheritance” (v. 11). Not only
accepted in the BeIoved, but a partner in His inheritance..New Testament Outlines. 161
“If children, then heirs: k&s of God and joint-heirs with
Christ; for if we suffer with Him, we may be glorified
together” (Rom. 8. 17). This will be the inheritance of
the saints in light (Col. 1. 12). “Heirs of God ? ” What
can this mean ? Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son
and Heir. The Church is the Bride of Christ. AI1 saved
by His grace and possessed by His Spirit are one with Him.
The redeemed Bride shall share the glory and honour of
the Bridegroom in that day when the “Marriage of the
Lamb ” is come.
VIII. Ye were Predestinated upto the Adoption of
Children (v. 5). Having been forgiven, accepted, and
honoured as heirs, we make this great discovery that all
these experiences were according to the predetermining
’ purpose and good pleasure of His will (v. 5). “Whom
He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed
to the image of His Son” (Rom. 6. 29, 30). We in our
simplicity, may have thought that when we first trusted
in Christ we were adding some fresh lustre to the glory of
Christ, but now we see that we were only fulfilling the
promise of the Father to the Son, that He would give Him
an inheritance from among the nations of the earth.
Jesus said: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to
Me” (John 6. 37).
IX. Ye were Chosen in Him before the Foundation
of the World (v. 4). The origin of the Church, as the
body of Christ, may date as far back as, “In the beginning
was the Word” (John 1. 1). Pentecost was the visible
I manifestation of this eternal purpose (2 Thess. 2. 13).
There was nothing haphazard about the covenant God
made with His Son to give Him a people for the eternal
honour of His Name. Christ did not die in chance that
some might believe in Him and be saved. He knew that
the Father had given Him power over all flesh, that He
should give eternal life to as many as the Father had
c.162 Handfuls on Purpose.
given Him (John 17. 2). So our Lord could say: “This
is the Father’s will which hath sent Me: that of all which
He hath given Me, I shall lose rtothimg” (John 6. 39).
What a halo of glory is here seen on the brow of the Church
of God; that it was a completed thing in the Divine
purpose a thousand ages before the incarnation of His
beloved Son. The Christ who loved the Church before it
was born, and gave Himself for it, will, one day present
it to Himself a “glorious Church, not having spot, or
wrinkle, or any such thing” (Eph. 5. 27). Then shall He
see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied. “Now
unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to
present you faultless before the presence of His glory with
exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory,
and majesty, dominion and power for ever and ever”
(Jude 24, 25).
A COMPREHENSIVE PRAYER
EPHESIANS 1. 15. 21.
THE spirit in which this great prayer was offered was that
of thanksgiving and abounding faith. Prayer and thanks-giving
are twin sisters (v. 16).
I. To Whom it was Offered. The manner in which
men approach God is often a revelation of their spiritual
character. This prayer was offered-1.
To “THE GOD OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST” (v. 17).
He is doubtless thinking of the manifestation of His own
character in the person of His SOS. He is praying to the
God of infinite love and super-abounding grace.
2. To “THE F ATHER OF G L O RY. ” The Father of
all the glory that belongs to His eternal Son, in whose
face this glory was seen (John 1. 14). Christ’s per-sonality
was the Shekinah of God, unveiled before the
eyes of men..New Testament Outlines. 163
II. The Petitions. They are in sweet harmony with
such a gracious God.
1. That He may “give unto you the SPIRIT OF WISDOM,
and REYELATION, in the KNOWLEDGE OF H IM. ” This
would mean a precious inheritance to any possessor.
Wisdom to discern spiritual things. Fresh revelations
and a growing knowledge of the glorious character of Him
who is the Wisdom and the Power of God. All such gifts
are for the magnifying of Jesus Christ in our hearts and
lives.
2. THAT THE EYES OF YOUR HEART MAY BE ENLIGK-TENED
(v. 18). There may be things Spiritual and Divine
which we can see with our hearts, that we cannot com-prehend
with our minds. The affections of the heart
may lay hold on what the intellect is inclined to doubt, as
when doubting Thomas said, “My Lord and my God”
(see 2 Cor. 4. 4-6).
III. The Expected Results. That ye may know-1.
WHAT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING. Not what is the
hope of your calling. But what is the hope of His calling.
The greatness and grandeur of that hope into which the
grace of God hath called us, how few can realise. “Walk
worthy of God who hath called you unto His Kingdom and
glory” (1 Thess. 2. 12). Our calling as we view it, and our
calling as God views it, may be vastly different things.
The apostle had the Divine outlook when he said: “I
press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God is Christ Jeszcs: for our citizenship is in Heaven, from
whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus
Christ, who shall fashion our bodies Like unto His glorious
body. ”
2. WHAT IS THE RICHES OF THE GLORY OF HIS INHERI-TANCE
IN TEE SAINTS? We often think of our inheritance
in C/z&t, but here it is the riches of Christ’s inheritance.164 Handfuls on Purpose.
in the sai+zts (v. 18). All are His saints-or separated
ones-who have been born from above, possessed by His
Spirit and yielded to His will. They are Christ’s peculiar
treasure. The Lord’s portion is His people ; and in the
coming ages the glorified Church will be an everlasting
witness to the riches of the glory of Christ’s saving grace.
3. WHAT IS THE EXCEEDING GREATNESS OF HIS POWER
TO USWARD ? We believe that God is Almighty. We see
His power in the creative work of His hands. But what
is the greatness of His power in operation toward us, who
are now His needy children? It is the same mighty power
that wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead
and set Him in the heavenlies, far above every form of
power and every name that is named in this world, and also
in that which is to come (vv. 20, 21). This’is the power
at the disposal of the Church of God to-day; for it is given
to Christ to be Head over all to the Church (v. 22). “All
power is given unto Me. Go ye, therefore. ” “Ye are
complete in Him” (Col. 2. 10).
THE BELIEVER’ S PAST, PRESENT, AND
FUTURE.
EPHESIANS 2. 1-13.
I. Their Past. This constitutes a dark and dismal
review. They were-1.
WITHOUT LIFE. “Ye were dead in trespasses and
sins. ” Spiritually dead to God, and buried in graves of
their making- “trespasses and sins. ” No response to all
the overtures of Divine mercy in Christ Jesus. “To be
carnally minded is death. ”
2. WITHOUT STRENGTH. “Ye walked according to the
course of this world” (v. 2). Carried away by the current
of the world’s influences, and, like a dead fish in the
stream, without any power of resistance..New Testament Outlines. 165
3. WITHOUT CHRIST. “At that time ye were without
Christ” (v. 12). All that Christ lzow stands for in our
personal experience and future hopes, at that time had.no
existence in our lives. Here see the poverty and desola-tion
of unregenerate souls. Destitute, afflicted, tormented.
4. WITHOUT PROMISE. Strangers from the covenants
of promise (v. 12). It is said that there are thirty thou-sand
promises in God’s Book, but not one for the man
whose mind is at enmity with God. There are “exceeding
great and precious promises, ” but the worldly, carnal,
Christless soul sees no value in them.
5. WITHOUT HOPE. “Having no hope” (v. 12). Being
without a promise, they are without hope. This is God’s
judgment of their case: but it is not theirs. Jesus Christ
said: ‘No malz cometh unto the Father but by me” (John
14. 6). But at that time we were “without Christ, ” and
so could not come to the Father in His own appointed way.
“He that believeth not is condemned already. ” Without
hope.
6. WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD. Without God, in a
world teeming with evidences of His wisdom and power.
In the world, loved by God, where God’s own Son lived,
loved, and died to save sinners (John 3. 16). Yes, such
were some of us, “but ye are washed. ”
II. Their Present. But Now ivz Christ Jews. What
a change I
1. YE ARE QUICKENED (v. 1). The Holy Spirit of God
hath breathed into you the breath of a new life. Your
eyes have been opened to see the mysteries and realities
of eternal things, The darkness is past and the true Light
now shineth. The clouded promises now appears like
stars of the first magnitude. Christ has become an over-shadowing
reality.
2. YE ARE MADE NIGH. “Now made nigh by the.166 Handfuls on Purpose. i, 3
Blood of Christ:’ (v. 13). Christ has been trusted, and
He who died, the Just for the unjust, has brought us to
God (1 Peter 3. 18). The sins that separated have been
put away. We have now the fellowship of the reconciled.
3. YE ARE RAISED together with Christ (v. 6). In the
purpose of God we were one with Him in the Cross. Now
we share His resurrection life and power. “He died for
our sins, but He rose again for our justification. ”
4. YE ARE SEATED together with Him in the heavenlies
(v. 6). His last word on earth was, “It is finished, ” then
He ascended to the Father’ s right hand and sat down.
Our blessed privilege now is to rest with Him in the work
accomplished for us.
5. YE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP. It is all His doing.
Through faith we are saved by grace, that not of ourselves,
it is the gift of God” (v. 8). “For it is God which worketh
in you both to z&l and to do of Hisgood pleasure” (Phi1.2.13).
III. Their Future. “That in the ages to come He
might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kind-ness
toward us through Christ Jesus” (v. 7). In this
present age we have seen much of God’ s kindness toward us
through Christ Jesus in His saving, keeping, satisfying
fulness. But in the age to come we shall be witnesses of
the glory that was to follow. When the Lord Himself
shall appear, and when all His redeemed shall be caught
up together to meet Him and to be glorified together
with Him as “heirs of God, ” we shall then have entered
into our glorious inheritance (Rom. 8. 17-19; Luke
22. 28-30).
THE CHURCH AS A NEW MAN.
EPHESIANS 2. 14-22.
IN by-gone ages the Church’ s character “was not made
known unto the sons of men” (chap. 3. 5). It was “a.New Testament Outlines. 167
mystery hid in God” (chap. 3. 9). In all ages God had
His Holy ones ; but the Church as a n-ew malz, a new created
Body of Christ, through which the manifold wisdom of
God was to be make known (chap. 3. 10) had not yet been
revealed. This is the theme before us now.
I. The Divine Plan. This was to make in Himself
of twain (Jew and Gentile) one new man, one new Body,
so making peace (v. 15). This new Body was to be-1.
COMPOSED OF JEW AND GENTILE. These terms
represent the whole human race. He that is not a Jew is
a Gentile, whatever be the colour of his skin or the language
he may speak. The Church is to be composed of “called
out” ones from every nation and people under the heavens.
2. RECONCILED ONE TO ANOTHER. No more strangers
and foreigners, but fellow-citizetis and of the Izozcsehold of
God (v. 19). “All one in Christ Jesus. ” In being brought
to God, each member is to be brought into sympathy and
fellowship with one another. They all belong to the
“household of faith” (Gal. 6. 10).
3. RECONCILED TO GOD. “That He might reconcile
both unto God irt o%e body” (v. 16). Before God there is
now neither Jew nor Gentile, but o?ze body, made nigh
by the Blood of Christ (v. 13). All are saved by grace.
This “new man” is “accepted in the Beloved” for the
Head of this new creation is Christ Himself.
II. The Divine Preparation. Before this gracious
purpose of God could be accomplished a great work had
to be done, a work that God only could do. There was-I.
A WALL OF PARTITION TO BE BROKEN DOWN. “He
hath broken down the middle wall of partition” (v. 14).
In the temple worship the Gentile court was cut off from
the inner court by a separating wall or partition. But in
this new creation in Christ all such prejudice, sectarian-ism,
and every dividing thing is to be brokelz down. But.168 Handfuls on Purpose.
men are still building partition walls in their priestly
pride, religious bigotry, and pagan superstitions; but,
thank God, that ~KZ Christ all are done away, “broken
down. ”
2. ENMITY TO BE SLAIN. “He hath reconciled both
unto God by the CYOSS, having slain the enmity thereby”
(v. 16). The Cross of Christ is God’s mighty weapon for
breaking down barriers between individuals and nations,
between human hearts and a Holy God. The greatest of
all partition walls is the evamity of the carnal mind (Rom.
8. 7). This enmity cannot be cured, it must be slairt; and
the humbling and melting vision of Christ crucified for
our own sins can slay it.
3. BOTH MUST BE POSSESSED BY THE SAME SPIRIT.
“Through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the
Father” (v. 18). This union between Jew and Gentile
is not a mere expediency for a temporary end. It is a
vital and eternal work of God’s grace. One Spirit animates
the whole body. “For by one Spirit are we all baptised
into one body, whether we be Jew or Gent iJe, bond or free ;
and have all been made to drink into ofte Spirit” (1 Cor.
12. 13). Christ is the. Fountain Head of this Spirit-life
that flows through every member of the body. “If any
man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink” (John 7. 37).
III. The Divine Purpose is to have this “new man”
as a fixed abode of God through the Spirit (v. 22, Weymouth
trans. ) . Does that mean that in the coming age the
Church will be the nxed abode of the Holy Spirit for the
manifestation of the glory of Christ? “He shall abide
with you for ever. ”
1. ALL BUILT ON THE ONE FOUNDATION. Built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ
Himself being the chief corner stone (v. 20). The prophets
as well as the apostles built upon the truth revealed,.New Testament Outlines. 169
whether by the Holy Spirit or by Christ Himself (Heb.
1. 1, 2). In both instances Jesus Christ Himself was the
chief corner stone, binding the whole spiritual fabric as
one to Himself. The strength and stability of the strut-ture
depends on the presence and position of the “Chief
Corner Stone” (Matt. 21. 42).
2. ALL FITLY FRAMED TOGETHER. “In HIM all the
building is fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy
ternfile in the Lord” (v. 21). In Christ every separate
believer is depending on Him as the foundation of all their
hopes, but they are also individually to be “fitly framed
together ” with their local fellow-believers. There is to
be “no schism in the body. ” Stones which do lrol fit with
each other make an untrustworthy or uncomely structure.
Christians have often ruined their testimony by being out
of harmony with their brethren. The Church is a growilzg
concern, “growing unto an holy temple in the Lord. ”
3. ALL UNITING TO MAKE A FIXED ABODE FOR GOD
THROUGH THE SPIRIT (v. 22). When this holy temple in
the Lord will be ready as a fixed abode for Him to whom
it belongs, no tougue of angel or pen of scribe can tell.
But the day will come when the last addition will be made,
and when the top stone will be put on, with “shoutings
of Grace, Grace, unto it” (Zech. 4. 7). Truly every stone
in the building is a monument of the grace of God through
Christ Jesus. Thus this ynew man, ” full-grown and
glorified, will become the temple of the Lord, and a
witness to the triumph of Christ’s sacrifice in the kingdom
that is to come. Well may we pray: “THY KINGDOM
COME. ”
BELIEVERS’ POSSIBILITIES.
EPHESIANS 3. 14-21.
“FOR &is ca%se I bow my knees. ” This was no mere
formal prayer. Paul deeply realised the immense impor- vo:,. x. 12.170 Handfuls on Purpose.
tancc of the petitions he was about to offer. He knew
that as Christians these experiences were needed.
I. What these Blessings Were. He prayed that they
may have-1.
SPIRITUAL POWER. “Strengthened with might by
His Spirit in the inner man” (v. 16). The migght of the
Holy Spirit in the ifiner man is the supreme need of every
Christian in our own day. Herein lies the secret of our
real influence for God. This power He is ready to give to
the faint (Isa. 4. 29-31).
2. THE INDWELLING PRESENCE. “That Christ may
dwell in your hearts by faith” (v. 17). There can be no
s$iyitual power where Christ is not honoured. If by faith
Christ dwells in us, then the Spirit will take the things
that are Christ’s and show them through us. This indwcl-lirrg
is assured by an unfailing faith in Him.
3. STABILITY OF CHARACTER . “Ye being vootcd and
groulzded in love” (v. 17). The downward growth of the
roots of our being are to be in the rich, fruitful soil of God’s
love, and the upward growth of the building of character
is to be based also in love. “Rooted and built UJ!I in Him,
and established in the faith” (Col. 2. 7).
4. ENLARGED COMPREHENSION . “That ye may be able
to comprehend with all saints.. . and to know the love of
Christ which passeth knowledge” (v. 19). It will take
the comprehension of “all saihts” in every age to find out
the breadth, length, depth, and height of that love of
Christ which in itself passeth knowledge. It is a great
discovery to tind out the immeasurable magnitude of that
love wherewith Christ hath loved us. And who shall
separate us from that love? (Rom. 8. 35).
5. COMPLETE AND ABIDING SATISFACTION . “That ye
might be filled with all the fulness of God” (v. 19). Filled
out of this fathomless fulness of God. “That ye might be.New Testament Outlines. 171
complete in accordance with God’ s own standard of
compIeteness (Weymouth). Already “from His fulness
have all we received, and grace upon grace” (John 1. 16).
But, Lord, increase our faith, that we may rise to the
Divine standard of fulness.
II. The Unfailing Source. “Now unto Him that is
able to do exceed&g abmdantly above all we ask 07 think”
(v. 20). These were great requests, but the apostle knew
that he was coming to a great and gracious God. He knew
and believed what we SO easily forget, that “He that
spared not His own Son, but delivered Him a@ for us all,
how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things”
(Rom. 8. 32). If this princely truth reigned over our
prayers, how different many of them would be. God
has given us His Son, this is the proof and pledge that He will withhold no good thing from those that love
Him and ask Him. But the measure of our receiving
’ “according to the power tkat work&h in us” (v.
J ). “According to your faith. ” This power worked
mightily in the apostle, and mighty things were done
(see Heb. 11).
111. The Measure of God’s Giving. “According to
the riches of His glory” (v. 16). We think that we know
something of “the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1. 7), but
what can we know of the “riches of His glory ? ” In
dealing with His pleading servants, it is the larger
measure of His eternal glory that He uses, according to the wealth of His risen and glorified position, If in His poverty He. could so bless and enrich needy souls,
how much more now, since He has entered into the
inheritance of His Father’ s glory. “All power is given
unto Me iri Heaven and on earth. ” Believest thou
this ? “Ask, and ye shall receive. ” “He giveth liberally
and upbraideth not. ”.172 Handfuls on Purpose.
CHARACTER AND CONDUCT.
EPHESIANS 4. 17-32.
As those who have learned of Christ (v. 20), the apostle
exhorts the Ephesian brethren that their manner of walk
must be different from “other Gentiles, ” who walk in the
“vanity of their mi+zd, ” with the understanding darkened
and “alienatedfrom the life of God, ” because of ignoralcce and
blindness of heart (vv. 17-19). What a sad picture this
is of the unrenewed man. “Such were some of us, but ye
are washed. ” The difference grace makes must be apparent
in character and conduct. To this Christ-honouring end
he calls upon them and us to-I.
Put Off the Old Man (v. 22). This old man is just
the same age as yourself. You cannot put him off like an
old coat, nor can you put him off with promises. It is the
natural carnal mind, whose motto was “Me first”-the
self-seeking, self -praising, self-satisfying spirit. It is
the old, corrupt heart, that loved the things that dis-honoured
the Christ. Shake him off as you would a
poisonous viper! Let him be crucified (Rom. 6. 6).
II. Put on the New Man. This new man is after the
image of God in righteousness and true wholeness (v. 24).
This new man is the “second man, the Lord from Heaven. ”
“Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision
for the old man” (Rom. 13. 14). To put on Christ is to
put on His Spirit and the yoke of His will. When He has
His rightful place in the heart and life there is no room
for any other. “Jesus must reign. ”
III. Put Away all Unreality. Every deceptive and
untruthful thing (v. 25). Does it seem strange to be
warning those who have been made anew after the likeness
of Christ, of lying, anger, and stealing? We all know that
the thoughts of the heart, as well as the words of the tongue,.New Testament Outlines. 173
often betray. In their most incipient .stage these things
are to be hated and disowned.
IV. Give No Place to the Devil (v. 27). The Devil
is always in search of a @ace in our lives. He knows that
if he can but get his poison into the blood, that the whole
man will be affected. Paul forgave others, “lest Satan
should get an advantage of us” (2 Cor. 2. 10, 11). The
hasty temper and the unforgiving mood gives Satan a
great advantage. “Resist the Devil and he will flee
from you. ”
V. Let your communications be free from corruption,
and Good for Edifying (v. 29). When conversation
degenerates into mere gossip, or a display of repartee,
there is little thought of obeying this injunction of making
it a “ministry of grace to the hearers. ” Many a God-given
opportunity has been utterly lost by the frivolous mood
displayed at times by God’s servants in the presence of
quiet, thoughtful, anxious souls (Col. 4, 6).
VI. Grieve not the Holy Spirit. This is an awful
possibility on the part of a Christian worker. He may be
grieved by ignoring His presence, by unholy talk and
temper which falsifies His character, by resisting His
teaching, by depending olt OUY own wisdom and strength.
A grieved Spirit means the loss of the enjoyment of God’s
love, the loss of communion which is by the Holy Spirit,
the loss of power for service (Isa. 63. 10). Grieve Him
not, for by the Holy Spirit are ye sealed and secured unto
the day of Christ’s final redemption (v. 30).
VII. Be Kind and Tender-hearted. “Forgiving
one another, even as God for Christ’ s sake hath forgiven
you” (v. 32). Be kind, tender-hearted, forgiving one
another for Christ’ s sake : even as God for Christ’s sake hath
forgiven you. This measure is “until seventy times
seven” (Matt. 18. 22)..174 Handfuls on Purpose.
BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT,
EPHESIANS 5. 16-18.
TO “redeem the time” (v. 16) and to “understand what
the will of the Lord is” (v. 17), we must be “filled with the
Spirit. ” God does not now thunder from a mount or send
prophets with nem messages. The last of the prophets was
His Son from Heaven, and His last great gift for this age
is the Holy Spirit, who reveals the will of God and inspires
with power to do it.
I. A Striking Contrast. “Be not drunk with wine,
but be filled with the Holy Spirit. ” A contrast between
being drunk and Spirit-filled. Between man’ s most
debasing vice and God’ s holiest and highest virtue. Be-tween
that which genders mockery and self-deception and
that which gives Divine illumination. Between that
which gives license to lust and shame and that which gives
liberty and power in God’ s service. The one means
waste and loss of self-control, the other means new gifts
and self-renewal. The one leads to vain imaginations
and regretful deeds, the other guides into truth and makes
strong to do the will of God. “Wine is a mocker. ” The
Holy Spirit is the great Teacheer come from God to take
the place of the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. A Needful Exhortation. “Be filled with the
Spirit. ” This implies-1.
THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS BEEN GIWZN, and that
as surely as God gave His Son, Pentecost is & witness to
that (Acts 2. 1-4). Just as there is an ample provision in
the Sacrifice of Christ to meet all our needs as sinners in
the sight of God, so there is suthciency in the Holy Spirit
to meet our need as sons and servants of God in the presence
of men.
2. EVERY BELIEVER HAS BEEN INFLUENCED BY THE
SPIRIT. It was He who first convinced of sin (John 16. 8)..New Testament Outlines. 175
It was He who gave the first quickening touch to our
spiritually dead souls (Eph. 2. I), and since we first
trusted in Christ has been in many ways helping, guiding
into truth, and revealing the things of Christ to our lagging
hearts. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is
none of His. ” But there is something more than this-3.
EVERY B ELIEVER SHOULD BE F ILLED WITH THE
SPIRIT. When the Spirit was first poured out, He rested
upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy
Ghost (Acts 2. 3, 4). Again, after prayer, we read that
all assembled together were filled with the Holy Ghost
(Acts 4. 31). While Peter yet spake, the Holy Ghost feIl
on all them which heard the word (Acts 10. 44). It is
perfectly clear that the apostles, at the beginning of their
ministry, were taught by the providence of God that every
believer in the risen Lord was to be, or might be, filled
with the Spirit. Paul’ s first question to the Ephesian
disciples was : “Did ye receive the Holy Spirit when ye
believed? “ (Acts 19. 2). There are many young disciples
to-day that could give the same answer they gave: “We
have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy
Ghost to be received. ” “By grace are ye saved, ” but by
the Holy Spirit are ye to be filled. This filling is for you.
Seek it.
III. A Powerful Inducement to seek this filling is presented to us in the peaceful, faithful, and fruitful lives
of those who were filled with the Spirit in Bible and in
modem times. We can only note some of the more
prominent characteristics.
1. A DEEP SENSE OF PERSONAL UNWORTHINESS. The
more of the Spirit the less of self. “Not I, but Christ. “
They know that apart from Him-nothing.
2. A HUNGER FOR THE WORD OF GOD. When the Spirit has full control within, and reveals afresh the things of.176 Handfuls on Purpose.
Christ, there is a growing love and reverence for the living
Book.
3. A QUICKENED REALISATION OF THE PRESENCE OF
GOD. There are wonderful sights and sounds in nature,
which cannot be seen nor heard without some special
instrumentality. There are more wonderful things in the
spiritual sphere, that the natural eye or ear hath never
seen or heard, but God hath revealed them unto us by His
Spirit (1 Cor. 2. 9, 10). We know Him.
4. A DESIRE FOR, AND A DELIGHT IN, PRAYER. Prayer
now means having fellowship with God in our need.
There is no misgivings as to God’s Personal interest in
His trusting child. His prayers are mingled with notes
of thanksgiving and heart-felt praise.
5. A YEARNING FOR THE SALVATION OF OTHERS. Paul
wept over those who were the enemies of the Cross of
Christ (Phil. 3. 18). Spiritual things have become so
vital and precious that compassion and pity have been
intensified for those who are out of the way. The love of
Christ constraineth.
6. A MORE REAL CONFLICT WITH SPIFUTUAL ENEMIES.
Hitherto we were but onlookers and students of spiritual
forces, but now we are right in the arena of battle, “wrest-ling
against principalities, against powers, against the
rulers of darkness and wickedness in high places” (Eph.
6. 12), and know the power of the Sword of the Spirit,
which is the Word of Cod.
7. A MORE C H R I ST- LIKE ATTITUDE IN THE F ACE OF
OPPOSITION. When misunderstood and misrepresented
(Acts 2. 13), not giving railing for railing, but contrari-wise,
praying for them that despitefully use you, as Christ
and Stephen prayed: “Father, forgive them. ” To be
filled with the Spirit is to be filled with the knowledge of
His will and a desire to please Him..New Testament Outlines. 177
IV. What Doth Hinder? There is no hindrance on
the Divine side. He says: “Be filled with the Spirit. ”
Then, if we are not, the hindrance must be in us. Is it
ignorance of its possibility and need ? Is it mbelief in its
reality ? It may be indiffeerence as to its vital importance,
or it may be love of the world And sheer self-satisfaction.
Whatever it is, we are responsible for not being filled with
the Spirit. Then, for the sake of Jesus Christ, and your
own eternal honour, “Be filled with the Spirit. ” “If ye,
being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children :
how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy
Spirit to them that ask Him” (Luke 11. 13). “If thou
knewest the gift of God thou wouldst have asked of Him”
(John 4. 10).
CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.
EPHESIANS 5. 21-33.
THE union brought about by a truly Christian marriage is
here used by the apostle as a metaphor of that spiritual
union between Christ and His Church. Let us examine-I.
The Relationship of Christ to the Church.
1. It is that of A LOVER. “Christ loved the Church”
(v. 25). When did this love begin? He loved it before
it was born, as the promised gift of the Father. His love
is an abiding benediction, a love that passeth knowledge
(chap. 3. 19).
2. It is that of A REDEEMER. “He gaveHimself for it”
(v. 25). Like a true lover, He gives Himself first. He
has bought the Church for Himself by the ransom of His
own precious Blood (Eph. 1. 7). “Ye are not your own. ”
3. It is that of A HUSBAND. “The husband is head of
the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the Church” (v. 23).
The Head is the seat of authority. With the Head also.178 Handfuls on Purpose.
rests the res$onsibility of supplying the needs of the wife-the
Church. Why, then, for the work of the Head, do we
constantly appeal to the wife for the means to carry on?
If we are doing the Lord’s work we ought to do it in the
Lord’s way, by trusting Him who is “able to supply all
our need” (Phil. 4. 19). ’
4. It is that of A SANCTIFIER. “That He might sanctify
and cleanse her with the washing by His Word” (v. 26).
He sanctifies, or separates, her for Himself. He found her
in rags and wretchedness, but He looked on her in love
and spread His skirts of mercy over her. He washed and
clothed her with broidered work. He anointed her and
decked her with ornaments and jewels, and made her
perfect with the comeliness He put upon her (Ezek. 16.
5-14). It is all His doing. Praise His Name.
5. It is that of A S A T I S F I ER. “He nourisheth and
cherisheth it” (v. 29). No mother was ever more careful
over her child than the Lord is over His Church. He
nourisheth her with the milk of His Word, and fondles her
in the arms of His love (John 17. 14, 15). He satisfies
with good things by His comforting Spirit (John 16. 13, 14).
6. It is that of A BRIDEGROOM . He longs to “present
it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle,
or aezy swk O&zg” (v. 27). A Bride without blemish in
His eyes. Seeing that this is His ultimate purpose con-cerning
all His own, should we not expect Him to work
out that which is pleasing to Him now in each individual
life? Let us ever remember that we are always in the
hands of Him who is able to keep us from falling, and to
present us faultless before the presence of His glory with
exceeding joy (Jude 24, 25). That will be the happy day
of the “Marriage of the Lamb. ”
II. The Relationship of the Church to Christ. It
is that of-.New Testament Outlinee . 179
1. SAVED ONES. “He is the Saviour of the body”
(v. 23). It can never be forgotten that the Church is as
a brand plucked out of the fire.
2. MEMBERS OF HIS BO DY, of His flesh, and of His
bones (v. 30). So close is the relationship that “they
two shall be one flesh” (v. 31) The members of the body
are the operators on behalf of the Head (Rom 12. 5).
3. SUBMISSION. “Therefore the Church is subject unto
Christ” (v. 24). The members of the body that is not
subject to the control of the Head is either sefiaratcd or
paralyzed.
4. REVERENCE. “The wife see that she reverence her
husband” (v. 33). We reverence OUT Lord when we
believe His Word, love His will, and adore His Holy
Name. This is the happy slavery of love. “Thou art
worthy, 0 Lord, to receive honour. ”
THE WARRIOR ‘ S ENEMY.
EPHESIANS 6. 11, 12.
(FOR Notes on “The Whole Armour of C od, ” see Vol. IX.,
page 179. ) Here we shall briefly look at “Your Adversary
the Devil. ” The Christian’s great enemy is “not flesh
and blood” (v, 12). Not even human nature, as such, but
a real spiritual and powerful personality. “Called the
Devil and Satan” (Rev. 12. 9).
I. His Character. There is but one Devil, or Satan,
but there are many “demons. ” “The Devil and h is
angels. ” He has had long experience in sinning. “The
Devil sinneth from the beginning. ” He is great. Called
“the Son of the Morning” (Isa. 14. 12). He is also called
a “lion” for strength, a “dragon” for fierceness, the “old
serpent” for subtilty. Even our Lord called him “the
prince of this world. ” When he led the revolt in Heaven.180 Handfuls on Purpose.
it was the great Archangel Michael who fought against
him (Rev. 12. 7). This is the passage we have to deal
with: Who is the “rmccusm of the brethren” (Rev. 12. 10).
II. His Sphere. When cast down from Heaven, he
seems to have pitched his camp in the aerial regions near
this world, and became “the prince of the power of the
air, ” and the god of this age (2 Cor. 4. 4), and “the spirit
that now worketh in the Children of disobedience“ (Eph.
2. 2). Although his stronghold is spiritual wickedness
k high places, he is found “going to and fro in the’earth,
and walking up and down in it” (Job 2. 2).
III. His Resources. These are. difficult to define.
But when we take our “stand against the wiles of the
Devil” (v. 11) we are in conflict with the despotisms, the
empires, the forces that control and govern this dark
world-the spirittial hosts of evil arrayed against us in the
heavenly warfare (Weymouth). But, thank God “greater
is He that isfor us. ”
IV, His Methods. We are not to be “ignorant of his
devices, ” lest he should get an advantage of us (2 Cor.
2. 11). His devices are varied-1.
He tries “WILES” (v, 11). Something attractive, but
deceptive and ensnaring. This was his method with
Christ in His great tem@atiorr.
2. He tries “FIERY DARTS” (v. 16). Poisoned tipped
arrows, that strike as suddenly as an unclean thought or a
dishonest and evil imagination. If you do not love such,
but hate them, you need not worry over them. Disown
them.
3. He tries the PROLONGED STRUGGLE, or “wrestling. ”
“We uwstle against the rulers of darkness, against spiritual
wickedness ” (v. 12). The conflict may be severe, but
yes&t the Devil and he will flee from you.
V. Hk Subjects are not those who are warring against.New Testament Outlines. 181
him, but those who are his willing, because blinded,
slaves (Eph. 2. 2; 2 Cor. 4. 4). They live in his “kingdom
of darkness, ” being captured by his powers, his signs, and
lying woptders (2 Thess. 2. 9). They are in bondage to a
great delusion. This is the condition into which sin and
unbelief had brought us, and where all unsaved ones now
are. May the love of Christ constrain us to seek their
deliverance.
VI. His Victors. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the stronger
One, has come into the Devil’s dominion, and has over-come
him, and spoiled him of his goods (Luke 11. 21, 22).
By His life and death, and triumphant resurrection, He
has spoiled @%acipalities and powers. He shook them off,
and boldly displayed them as His conquests, when by
His Cross He triumphed over them (Col. 2. 15). The Son
of God was manifested that He might destroy the works
of the Devil, even him that had the power of death (Heb.
2. 14). Now we who believe in Him have been delivered
from the power and dominion of Satan, and translated
into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son (Col. 1. 13). We know
t:,at we have passed from death into life (John 5. 24), and
that the darkness is passed, and the true light now shineth
(John 2. 8). “Thanks be to God, who hath given us th
victory” (Rev. 12. 11).
THE SELF-HUMBLED BUT GOD-EXALTED
CHRIST.
PHILIPPIANS 2. S- 11.
I. His Humiliation. The pre-incarnate position and
glory of the Lord Jesus Christ is frequently referred to in
the Scriptures. “He was in the form of God, and thought
it not d;shonouring to claim equality with God” (v. 6).
“In the beginning was the word.. . and the Word was God”
(John 1. 1). He is before all things (Col. 1. 17). It was.182 Handfuls on Purpose.
He who “laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens
are the works of His hands” (Heb. 1. 10). This is He who
was “the Lamb sIain before the foundation of the world”
(Rev. 13. 8). This is He who-1.
MADE HIMSELF OF No REPUTATION (v. 7). Think
of the reputation He had in the Heavens, before the world
was, and how much He stripped Himself off when He
appeared amongst men to be despised and rejected. “A
man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. ”
2. TOOK UPON HIM THE FORM OF A SERVANT. He who
was the Creator of the ends of the earth, whom angels
delighted to serve and adore, who was ilt the form of God,
takes the form of a servant, that He might bring blessing
to a rebel world (Luke 22. 27). ’
3. WAS MADE IN-THE LIKENESS OF MEN. He Himself
took part of the same flesh and blood, for it behoved Him
to be made like unto His brethren (Heb. 2. 14-17). “The
Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to
@ve” (Matt. 20. 28). He who was the “express image of
the invisible God” takes upon Him the likeness of a sinful
h u m a n i t y.
4. BECAME OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH (v. 8). OBEDIENT!
but not to the clamoring of a proud, sin-blinded race,
but to the till of His Father. “I delight to do Thy will,
0 my God” (John G. 33). Nothing on earth or in Hell
could turn Him aside from His great and gracious purpose.
“He set His face like a flint. ”
5. Became obedient EVEN UNTO THE DEATH OF THE
CROSS (v. 3). From our natural standpoint it is simply
appalling to think of the Eternal and Beloved Son of God
submitting to be nailed to a Cross by those whom He
lovingly sought to save. The utter unworthiness and
guilt of men could never make itself more hideous before
the eye of Heaven. But yet the infinite grace of God is.New Testament Outlines. 183
hereby revealed. He was giving “Himself a ransom for
us all. ” The Just One was willingly suffering for the
unjust, that He might bring us to God (Gal. 3. 13).
II. His Exaltation. “Wherefore God hath highly
exalted Him” (v. 9). Because of His voluntary humility
and suffering, in the fulfilling of His Father’s purpose, He
hath highly exalted Him as the Son of Man, as the Eternal
Sort of God. He could not be exalted above His pre-natal
position, “as One with the Father” (John 14. 9). There
was given unto Him-1.
A PRE-EMINENT NAME. “A Name which is above n
every name” (v. 9). The Name which is for ever above
every name is “JEHOVAH. ” Now the Man, Christ Jesus,
who became a “Man of Sorrows, ” has been lifted up above
every name that is named. He who was crowned with the
thorns of shame for us is now crowned with glory and
honour (Heb. 2. 9) as our Representative.
2. UNIVERSAL AUTHORITY. At the Name of Jesus every
being in Heaven and on earth, and in the under world
shall yet bow (v. 10) “All power is given unto Him in
Heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28. 18). He who now bears
the eternal stigma of the Cross upon His hands and feet,
will “subdue all things unto Himself, ” not only in this
world, but also in that which is to come (Eph. 1. 20, 21).
8. UNIVERSAL WORSHIP. “Every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (v. 11).
It was God the Father who sent His Son to seek and save
the lost, and He shall be honoured and satisfied when a
whole redeemed world shall confess Jews as Lord. For
He shall be Lord both of the dead and the living (Rom.
14. 9). Now we see Jesus, who tasted death for every man,
crowned with glory and honour. “Thine is the kingdom,
and the power, ani the glory for ever. Amen. ” “He that
humbleth %msclf shall be exalted. ”..
184 Handfuls on Purpose,
HOLY ASPIRATIONS.
PHILIPPIANS 3. 7-14.
WHEN Paul met the Lord on his way to Damascus (Acts
9) his whole being was revolutionised. His eyes being
opened, he discovered that in Him he had found a limitless
store of spiritual wealth, for which he counted everything
else as worthless (v. 7). We have here some of the ex-periences
which his holy ambition aimed at. May our
own hearts also be stirred up to seek them.
I. That I may Win Christ (v. 8). Christ had already
won him (Acts 9). But the apostle realised that although
he was now in the land of promise, there was still much
land to be possessed. He evidently wished to find Him as
a daily prize. He was determined not to know anything
among them but Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 2. 2).
II. That I might Know Him (v. 10). There are, of
course, many degrees in knowledge. All Christians know
Him whom to know is life eternal. But the Christ some
saintly men and women know is a much greater Christ
than many have ever experienced. It is the same Jesus,
but they have a much deeper and more intimate know-ledge
of His character and capabilities. It will take all
eternity to know Him as He really is. We are to “grow in
grace, ” but also “ilz the k+sowledge of Him. ”
III. That I may be Found in Him (v. 9). It is an
abiding victory for all those whose faith and works are
found irt Him. If He abides in us we shall be found in
Him (John 15. 4), and at last, wheu the time of our
departure is at hand, it will be a joy to us, an honour to
Christ, and glory to God, when hE finds us enveloped in
the worthiness of His own Son. To be found i9z Him will
be to find us blameless and complete (Rom. 8. 1).
IV. That I Might Know the Power of His Resur- rection (v. 10). There is no doubt as to the fact of hrist ‘ s.New Testament Outlines. 185
resurrection. He had seen Him, and had such exultant
faith in Him, that he longed for the power that raised
Jesus from the dead, that the risen life of Jesus might be
manifested in his mortal flesh (2 Cor. 4. 10). If we have
been crucified with Christ, then are we raised together
with Him. The power of His resurrection is the power of
His life-giving Spirit. The vitality of the Gospel has its
source in His resurrection.
V. That I may Know the Fellowship of His Suffer- ings (v. 10). With the sufferings of Christ as our atoning
Substitute, we can have no fellowship. He was alone, and
will be for ever alone in that, but in suffering because of
His holy, God-honouring devotion to His Father’s will,
He hath left us an example, that we should follow His
steps ; for “if any man will live Godly he must suffer”
(2 Tim. 3. 12). We cannot know the fellowship of His
sufferings unless we are possessed by the same Spirit and
faithfully serving in the same cause. This fellowship
demands a consecrated life, a life willing to be “made con-formable
unto His death. ”
VI. That I Might Attain unto the Resurrection from Among the Dead (v. 11). At the coming of our
Lord the dead in Christ shall rise first (1 Cor. 15. 20). This
is called “the first resurrection. ” “Blessed and holy is
he that hath part in the first resurrection, for they shall
be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him
a thousand years” (Rev. 20. 5, 6). Doubtless this is the
truth the apostle refers to here in being raised from among
the dead. (The rest of the dead lived not till the Millennial
reign had closed.) He desired to attain a place of honour
and service in the coming Kingdom of his Lord; and cer-tainly
he will, for he “fought the fight and finished the
course, ” he kept the faith and expected the crown (2 Tim.
4. 7). “Seek those things which are above. ”
VOL. x. 13.186 Handfuls on Purpose.
VII. That I may Apprehend that for which also I
am Apprehended (v. 12). It was Jesus Christ who
suddenly apprehended him, while on a persecuting
expedition (Acts 9). He still yearns to know and to carry
out to completion the whole purpose of His Lord in
saving him. Many there are who are satisfied just because
they are saved from the penalty of sin. They have no
concern as to the work the Lord has saved them to do.
Saul was very practical and reasonable, for as soon as he
was converted he said: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me
to do, ” and he made it his life’s business to do that will.
“To me to live is Christ” is the faithful Christian’s motto.
VIII. That I might Gain the Prize of the High
Galling of God in Christ Jesus (v. 14). The higher the
calling the greater is the reward. To be “called of God, ”
and that “ia Christ Jesus, ” is the greatest honour Heaven
can bestow upon a sinful man. What can the prize of
this heavenly calling be ? It must be perfectly consistent
with the glory of the calling. That surely means a pm-
fected character, not only in the world to come, but here
and now, as the reward of true-hearted obedience (1 Peter
5. 10). “Let us therefore as many as be perfect, be thus
mided” (v. 15). For they shall know who follow o+t to
know the Lord (Hosea 6. 3).
THE BELIEVER’S POSITION, EXPECTATION,
AND PREPARATION.
PHILIPPIANS 3. 20, 21; 4. 5, 6.
I. Their Position. Their “citizenship is in Heaven“
(v. 20). They have been born from above, and have their
home in the City of God. So they have “no continuing
city” here, but they look for that city whose “Builder and
Maker is God” (Heb. 11. 10). They know that in their.New Testament Outlines. 187
Father’s house there are many rooms, and that a place is
prepared for them there (John 14. 1, 2). Knowing that
they are citizens of a better country, they love not the world
nor the things of this world, but are loyal to Him who
rules in the “Heavenly Jerusalem. ”
II. Their Expectation. The expectations of the
believer are as great as the promises of God.
1. They expect that CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN. “They
eagerly look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 20).
They believe that He will appear the sccolrd time without
a sin-offering unto a perfected salvation (Heb. 9. 28).
They are obedient to His Word in waiting for the Coming
of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1. 7 ; 1 Thess. 1. 10).
Happy are they who hold this “Blessed Hope. ”
2. They expect A TRANSFIGURED BO DY. “Who shall
change our mortal body, that it may be fashioned like
unto His glorious body” (v. 21). The Lord Jesus showed
His disciples a pattern of this new body, when on the
mount He was transfigured before them (Luke 9. 29).
So when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we
appear with Him in glory (Co]. 3. 4). We are sons of God
now, but “it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we
know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him”
(I John 3. 2). For this corruptible body must be changed
for the incorruptible (1 Cor. 15. 53). Then shall “death
be swallowed up in victory. ” “Believe ye that I am able
to do this ? ”
III. Their Preparation. The watchword of the early
Christians seem to have been, “The Lord is at hand”
(chap. 4. 5). In view of His appearing, they were exhorted
to-1.
BE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING (v. 6). Let no harassing
care trouble your mind with regard to the seemingly con-flicting
experiences of this life or the signs of the times..138 Handfuls on Purpose.
He who is Coming again would have us to cast all our care
upon Him, because He carethfm w (1 Peter 5. 7). He who
bore our sins is the same Lord who carries our sorrows.
Roll thy burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain thee
(Psa. 55. 22). “Be careful for nothing. ”
2. BE PRAYERFUL IN EVERY THING. “In every thitig
by prayer let your requests be made known unto God”
(chap. 4. 6). Nothing that troubles us is too trifling to
bring to God. Those who have learned this holy practice
know what it is to “pray without ceasing. ” The blessed-ness
of it is unspeakable. In these closing days of this age,
with the end of present conditions at hand, “Be ye there-fore
sober and watch udo @ayeY (1 Peter 4. 7).
3. BE THANKFUL FOR ANYTHING. “In every t&g. . .
with tharcksgiving” (chap. 4. 6). For “all things work
together for good to them that love God. ” “This is the
will of God in Christ Jesus concc&ng YOU, ” that ye should
kn every tkilag give thanks (1 Thess. 5. 18). It is easy to
thank God when we receive the things we desire and that
please us; but when disappointment comes, when our
plans are thwarted or friends betray us, it may be easy to
forget this: but it is then that we need the faith that God
doeth all things well, that we may still say, “Thanks be
to God. ”
THE POWER OF THE GLORIFIED CHRIST.
COLOSSIANS 1. 9-14.
IN this prayer the apostle shows his great faith in the all-sufficiency
of his Lord, when he pleaded for the “brethren
in Christ, ” that they might be blessed “according to his
glorious power, I or rather, His power in glory. Let us
remember that we have the same Lord who is rich unto all
that call upon Him.
I. What the Lord has Done for Us..New Testament Outlines. 189
1. He has REDEEMED u s. “We have redemption
through His Blood” (v. 14). He “gave Himself for us
that He might redeem us” (Titus 2. 14). Our redemption
price is irtcomq!dible (1 Peter 1. 18), and SO POSSCSS~S
eternal value.
2. He has FORGIVEN u s. “Even the forgiveness of
sins” (v. 14). Yes, God, for Ckrist’s sake, hath done this
(Eph. 4. 32), and, for His sake, He is ready and willing
to do for them all that His forgiven ones really need.
3. He has RESCUED us. “Delivered us from the power
of darkness” (v. 13). Rescued from the grip of sin, from
the fear of death, the terrors of darkness, and the dominion
and delusions of the Devil.
4. He has SETTLED us. “Translated into the Kingdom
of His dear Son” (v. 13). We who were strangers and
foreigners have, by the grace of God, been taken and
settled in a new kingdom,under a new King,and in entirely
different conditions. “Passed from death into life. ”
II. What the Lord is Able to Do for Us. He is able-1.
To “FILL WITH THE K NOWLEDGE OF H IS W I LL”
(v. 9). With regard to God’s character and purposes,
there is no place for mere speculation. His z&l for us is
clearly revealed in His Word, and the Holy Spirit is ready
to teach, giving “wisdom and spiritual understanding. ”
If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth
liberally.
2. To make us “WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD” (v. 10).
There are many references in the Word concerning the
Christian’s “walk, ” that is the outward and visible
expression of their every-day life before men should be
@ea.&g to God. “Walk worthy of Him who hath called
you” (1 Tim. 2. 12). Walk worthy of your vocation
(Eph. 4. 1). Walk in newness of life (Rom. 6. 4). Walk
as the wise (Eph. 5. 15). Enoch had this testimony that.190 Handfuls on Purpoae.
he pleased God (Heb. 11. 5). To walk and not faint is a
crowning blessing (Isa. 40. 31).
3. To make us “FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WORK”
(v. 10). What a victory this would mean to many a
discouraged worker. This is possible, for it is God-honouring
. “Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear
much fruit” (John 15. 8). A barren ministry is dis-honouring
to God, and is a betrayal of the worker’ s
weakness. Where the Holy Spirit controls the “fruit of the
Spirit” will be manifest (Gal. 5. 22, 23). The Holy Spirit
is fruitful in all His work. Abide in Christ,and let His Word
abide in you, and your fruit will remain (John 15. 16).
4. To “STRENGTHEN WITH ALL MIGHT.” All the might
of our glorified Lord awaits His needy, believing people.
The strelzgth referred to here is that they might be “$atient
and longsuffering with joyfulness” (v. 11). It needs strong
faith to be patient and joyful in the midst of prolonged
suffering. Many of God’s saints in the past have “out
of weakness been made strong” (Heb. 11. 34).
5. To make us MEET FOR THE INHERITANCE OF THE
SAINTS IN LIGHT (v. 12). Paul did not believe that the
saints were buried in the darkness of the grave, or lost in
the abyss of “eternal oblivion.” He knew that they had
entered into the fuller light of the Presence of His glory,
and had found their inheritance in the fellowship of their
Redeemer. He longs to be a partaker with them of the
“glory that is to follow. ” This is not the morbid desire
of a faint heart, but the longing of a truly loving heart.
“Absent from the body, present with the Lord. ”
THE PRE-EMINENCE OF CHRIST.
COLOSSIANS 1. 15-19.
JESUS CHRIST, as God’ s Beloved Son, and ris the Redeemer
of men, has been so honoured by the Father that in all.New Testament Outlines. 191
things, in all spheres, in all times, and in all Eternity He
should have the PRE-EMINENCE. He has the pre-eminence :
I. In Power. “For by Him were all things created.”
All things in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible
(v. 16). It pleased God that “by” Him, “Ihrough” Him,
“k” Him, and “for” Him, were all things brought into
existence, and without Him was not anything made that
was made (John 1. 3). By Him also He made the uni-verse
(Heb. 1. 2). Think of it. This is the sume Christ
by whom, through whom, in whom, and for whom,
God is now seeking to save sinners for the glory of His
Name.
II. In Birth. “He is the Firstborn of every creation”
(v. 15). He could say: “I am the First: the Beginning
and the End” (Rev. 21. 6). He is also the “Firstborn
from among the dead” (v. 18). This has been called His
“second birth. ” Christ the firstfruits, afterwards they
that are Christ’s at His Coming (1 Cor. 15. 23). The first-born
usually becomes the heir. God hath “appointed Him
heir of all things” (Heb. 1. 2). And now by His mar-vellous
grace, we who believe in Him are made “heirs
together with Him. ”
III. In Likeness. “He is the image of the invisible
God” (v. 15). Angels are holy, many of His people in
every age have been Godly, but Christ alone in His essential
character was the express image of His Person (Heb. 1. 3).
He could say: “He that hath seen Me hath seen the
Father” (John 14. 9) ; also: “I and My Father are One.”
If the Gospels were read in the light of this glory from the
“face of Jesus, ” surely they would have a deeper meaning,
a more humbling, yet more inspiring influence on our
hearts and lives. Here we see grace pre-eminent.
IV. In Authority. “By Him all things are held to-gethsy”
(v. 17). The law of gravitation as an ordinance.192 Handfuls on Purpose.
of God has a mighty balancing effect in holding material
things together. But this law has no influence over heavenly
things. The things invisible, the theories, dominions,
principalities, and spiritual powers (v. 16). Christ
upholdeth al2 things by the Word of His $ower (Heb. 1. 3).
His wisdom and His will are in constant activity over all
the works of His hands. His will is done in Heaven, and
the time is coming when it will be done on earth. The
enmity of man’s free w&? is meanwhile a perennial obstacle.
But all power has been given Him in Heaven and on earth,
and He will yet subdue all unto Himself. The Lord shall
YGig?E.
V. In the Church. “He is the Head of the Body, the
Church” (v. 18). Here His pre-eminence is generally
acknowledged, but does He get His true place as such in
the practical life ? It is the Head of the body, and not the
hands, that does the thinking and the planning. In His
Word we have His mind, and will concerning us clearly
revealed. The secret of the Church’s authority and
power lies in obedience to His Word, both in doctrine and
in polity. What is displeasing to the Head must be dis-honouring
to the body. The head takes all the responsi-bilities
of the body, therefore we should cast all OUY cays
on Him, both for men and resources. He supplies all the
needs of His Body.
VI. In Riches. He is pre-eminently rich, “for it hath
pleased the Father that ilz Him should all fwlness dwell”
(v. 19). This is a Divine act of grace, that God should
be pleased that in Jesus Christ the world’s Redeems, all
fulmss should dwell, that all who are in Him by faith may
be in touch with all the fumess of God. “He who was rich,
for our sakes became poor: that we through His grace may
become rich. ” “And of His fulness have all we received”
(John 1. 16). All the blessing we have received has come.New Testament Outlines. 193
ozlt of His fdness. Our cup may be full, but the oceans
of His fulness still remains (Eph. 1. 3). His Name shall
be called “WONDERFUL ” (Isa. 9. ,6).
COMPLETE IN CHRIST.
COLOSSIANS 2. 9-15.
I. Where this Completeness is Found. “Ye are
complete ilt Him. ” In Him in whom “dwelleth all the
fuzllness of the Godhead in human form” (v. 9). This fulness
is abiding in Him for ever, that all His loved and loving
ones may be filled up and eternally perfected. He is made
of God unto us wisdom and righteousness, and sancti-fication,
and deliverance (1 Cor. 1. 30). This is part of
His fulness, which we have “all received with grace upon
grace” (John 1. 16). In Christ we dwell in God’ s store-house
of infinite grace, and with Him who is “the Head
of all principality and power. ” In Him there is fa&ess
to satisfy and power to protect, to guide, and to keep, to
strengthen, to deliver, and to make the life abundantly
fruitful. “Ye are comfilete in Him. ”
II. How this Completeness is Attained. Simply
by being in Christ. But what is implied by this experi-ence
? The statements which follow in verses 11-15
explain.
1. BY BEING FORGIVEN. “Having forgiven you all trespasses” (v. 13). Forgiveness is our first necessity, and
God’s forgiveness is complete. All trespasses. It is against God that we have sinned, and the reconcilation
must begin by His act of grace in not impzlting their tres-passes
unto them (2 Cor. 5. 19).
2. BY HAVING THE BOND THAT WAS WRITTEN AGAINST
us CANCELLED. Blotting out the handwriting that was
against us, and contrary to us, and took it out of the way,.194 Handfuls on Purpose.
nailing it to His Cross. The law was a bond against us,
saying : “Do this and live, disobey this and die.” But
this bond as the condition of life, Christ hath for US
blotted it out by nailing it to His Cross-making it a part
of His Cross (v. 14). Now ye are not under the law, but
in the kingdom of His grace. For He hath abolished in
His flesh “even the law of commandments,” and by His
Cross He hath slain the enmity (Eph. 2. 15, 16).
3. BY BEING BURIED WITH HIM. “Buried with Him
in baptism” (v. 12). This is no mere symbol or figure of
speech, but a deep and real spiritual experience. Through
faith we are baptised into the death of Jesus Christ (Rom.
6. 3). Now the “old man” is to be thrown off and left in
the grave (1 Peter 3. 21). Paul refers to this when he says,
“I am crucified with Christ. ” The Cross should be to US
the death of the self life.
4. BY B EING &USED WITH HIM. “Ye are risen with
Him through God-given faith” (v. 12). Having been
identified with His death, we have been quickened together
with Him (v. 13) into the new resurrection life. Having
been planted together in the likmess of His death, we shall
be also in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6. 5).
The Christian life, then, is a life hid z&h Christ in God; a
life whose birth is “from above;” a life that is the life
eternal, for He hath begottea us again unto a living hope,
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1. 3). Then
what doth the Lord now require of us ? Surely it is this :
I
“Yield yourselves unto God as those that are alive from
the dead” (Rom. 6. 13). The life we now live in the flesh
has been given us through Jesus, then surrender it to Him
in thankful service.
5. BY H AVING OUR ENEMIES C ONQUERED BY H IM.
“He hath spoiled principalities and powers, triumphing
over them” (v. 15). All power is given unto Him, and.New Testament Outlines. 195
He is able, and hath made His faithful followers more
than conquerors through His own unfailing and inseparable
love (Rom. 8. 37-39). “All the hostile princes and rulers
He shook off from Himself, and boldly displayed them
as His conqzlests, when by the Cross He triumphed over
them. ” In Christ. “Greater is He that is for us, than all
that can be against us. ” “Ye are complete in Him. ”
“Thanks be to God who givcth us the victory, through our
Lord Jesus Christ. ”
THE HIDDEN LIFE.
COLOSSIANS 3. 1-4.
THE essence of Christianity is not a “creed, ” not a “system
of doctrine, ” not a particular mode of worship, but a life,
and that life Christlike. I t i s-I.
A Life from the Dead. “Ye were dead” (v. 3)
“Dead in trespasses and sin. ” Dead to God, in that there
was no faith in Him, no response to His love, no felt need
of His mercy; as insensible to spiritual and heavenly
things as the dead in their graves are to the things of earth.
II. A Resurrected Life. “Risen with Christ” (v. 1).
The carnal man, as a corn of wheat, has fallen into the
ground and died, and the new life, quickened by the
Spirit of God, hath appeared (John 12. 24). “For that
which thou sowest is not quickened except it die. ” The
dead leaves of the old life fall off in the springtime of the
new. If we have been buried with Christ in His death,
we are risen with Him in newness of life. This life in
Christ is eternal, for He who is our life dieth no more. We
have passed from death into “the life everlasting. ”
III. A Life Supported by Heavenly Things. “Seek
those things which are above. Set your affectiolrs on
things above, not on things on the earth” (w. 1, 2). This.196 Handfuls on Purpose.
life which is from above can only be fed and nourished with
the things that belong to the heavenlies. Material things
can never satisfy a quickened spirit. They that are after
the Spirit must mind the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8. 5).
The spiritual life is often ‘choked with the riches of this
world. Seek ye first the things of God, and all other
things will be added (Matt. 6. 33); and by so doing ye
shall lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven. “If
any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in
him (1 John 2. 15).
IV. A Substitutional Life. “Christ, z&a is 026~ Zife”
(v. 4). If His death was a substitute for us, so also is His
resurrection and life. “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth
in me. ” “We are in Him that is true, even irz His Son
Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life (1
John 5. 20). Truly we “live, and move, and leave our
be&g in God. ” He was judged for us on the Cross. Now
: we are justified by His life (Rom. 5. 10). “Because I live,
saith the Lord, ye shall live also” (John 14. 19).
V. A Secure Life. “Your life is hid with ChYist ire
God” (v. 3). In grace God was in Christ reconciling
sinners unto Himself. In glory, Christ is in God repre-senting
His ransomed people. By faith, “Ye are in Christ
as the fruit of His victory, the special treasure which He
found in the field of the world (Matt. 13. 44). “Hid with
Christ in God, ” ye are as safe as Christ Himself. As Noah
was shut up in the ark by God, so has His Church as His
Body been shut up and sheltered in the ark of His anointed.
“1 give unto them eternal life, they shall never perish,
neither shall any power be able to pluck them out of My
hand” (John 10. 28).
VI. A Life Yet to be Manifested. “When Christ who
is our life &all appear, thm shall ye also appear with Him
i~gzory” (v. 4). “It doth not yet appear what we shall be. ”.New Testament Outlines. 197
“Here we suffer grief and pain,” because of the world’s
sins and sorrows, and because of our own weakness and
shortcomings. But when He shall appear we shall be like
Him, seeing Him as He is (1 John 3. 2). For “He shall
change our mortal body, and fashion it like unto His
glorious body” (Phil. 3. 21). “What we now suffer, count
as nothing in comparison with the glory which is soon to
be manifested in us” (Rom. 8. 18). Christ came and died
that we might have life. He rose and ascended that we
might have it in abundance (John 10. 10). “Fear not,
little flock. ”
CHRISTIAN CHARACTER.
COLOSSIANS 3. 8-24.
THE believers at Colosse are here reminded that as Chris-tians
there are some things they must pm! off as incon-sistent;
some things they must pw! on as absolutely
needful; some things to do as a proof of their faith ; and
how they should be done as an evidence of true-hearted
devotion.
I. Some Things to Put Off. Put off-1.
“THE OLD MAN with his deeds” (v. 9). The old
carnal mind which is corrupt, and which lives under the
spell of deceitful lusts (Eph. 4.~ 22). Throw him off.
2. “ANGER, UNHOLY PASSION, ill-will, evil-speaking,
personal abuse: put off all these” (v. 8). Why should
Christians need to be told to put off things that are more
like the Devil than their Redeemer 1 These are sins that
do beset some (Heb. 12).
II. Some Things to Put On. Put on-“
THE NEW MAN, which is after the image of God”
(v.‘*IO). To put on the new man is to give the Lord Jesus
Christ-the Second Man, the Lord from Heaven-His true.198 Handfuls on Purpose.
place in the life. Act as if He is mantling you with His
presence.
2. “TENDER-REARTEDNESS, kindness, lowliness of mind,
longsuffering” (v. 12). Note that these are the features
of the Divine image, as seen in the face of Jesus (This is
the fruit of the Spirit). “And above all, we are to put on
love” (v. 14). “God is love, and he that dwelleth in love
dwelleth in God and God in him” (1 John 4. 12-16). May
the love of Christ constrain us to be more like Him.
III. Some Things to Let In.
1. THE PEACE OF GOD. “Let the peace of God rule in
your hearts” (v. 15). What a blissful kingdom our hearts
would be if the peace of God ruled therein (Rom. 14. 17).
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect Peace whose mind is
stayed on Thee” (Isa. 26. 3). We can let this peace rule
in our hearts by a trustful submission to the will of Him
who is able to say, “Peace, be still. ”
2. THE WORD OF GOD. “Let the Word of God dwell
in you richly” (v. 16). “That Word, which is quick and
powerful, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of
the heart” (Heb. 4. 12). ‘Search the Scriptures, for they
are they which testify of Me. ” It is Himself that our
souls need if our character is to be enriched and our
testimony made fruitful.
IV. Some Things to Let Out. What we have by faith
taken in, should in service be let out. “Freely ye have
received, freely give. ” We are to-1.
SERVE LOYALLY. “Whatsoever ye do in word M
deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus ” (v. 17). How
different life would be if our ordinary duties were done for
“Christ’ s sake. “In His Name” would take the sting of
shame out of many a lowly deed. “One is your Master,
even Christ. ”
2. SERVE HEARTILY . “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily.New Testament Outlines. 1 99
ys unto the Lord” (v. 23), “not with eye-service, as men-pleasers.
” Heartless service must be a solemn mockery
in His eyes. Formal lip-service is rank hypocrisy.
3. SERVE THANKFULLY. “Do all in the Name of the
Lord Jesus, giving thu&s to God the Father by Him”
(v. 17). We should give thanks always for all things
(Eph. 5. 20). The Lord hath done great things for us, and
is still doing them on our behalf, therefore “His praise
should be continiuzlly in our mouths” (Psa. 34. 1). In
giving and in taking away, His Name is still to be blessed
(Job 1. 21).
V. Some Thin@ for which we Look Up. “Ye serve
the Lord Christ, and from the Lord ye shall receive the
reward of the inheritance” (v. 24). Every good thing
done is to be rewarded (Eph. 6. 8). The inheritance as a
harvest will be according to our works. He shall render
to every man according to his deeds (Rom. 2. 6). But to
see Him, and be made like Him, and to dwell with Him,
this is the reward of grace alone.
THE MODEL CHURCH.
1 THESSALONIANS 1. 6-10.
THE beauty of this Church did not consist of a gorgeous
material building, but of a people who are said to be “Ifi
God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 1). And
that they were ensamples to all believers (v. 7). Note
their character.
I. They were Saved from Wrath. “They were
delivered from the wrath to come” (v. 10). It should
never be forgotten that there is “wrath to come” (Rev.
6. 17). Wrath against all ungodliness. Blessed are they
whom “God hath appointed to obtain salvation by our
Lord Jesus Christ ” (1 Thess. 5. 9). Christ our Refuge.
“Flee from the wrath to come. ”.!m Handfuls on Purpose.
II. They were Converted to God. “They turned to
God from idols” (v. 9). Christ is the propitiation for the
sin of the world, but that fact in itself does not save the
world; there must needs be a personal tam&g to God from
siD and unbelief. The idols of the unconverted are
numerous and varied. To twn to God is to forsake every-thing
that would divide our affections or hinder our
whole-hearted trust.
III. They were Receivers of the Word of God.
“They received the Word in much affliction” (v. 6).
These were troublous times, as we learn from Acts 17 ; but
the antagonism of the worldly-minded did not hinder them
from boldly receiving the Word. It is always a sign of a
healthy soul or Church, which gladly drinks in the truth
as revealed in God’s Word. Human philosophies may
have their place, but they are the food to build up a model
Church. Quickened spirits need the “Word of Life. ”
IV. They were Devoted to the Service of God. “They
turned from idols to serve the livilcg ami tme God” (v. 9).
What a change! Serving the Living Go& instead of dead
things that only mocked their needs with a silent indiffer-ence.
“To whom, 0 Lord, can we go but unto Thee?”
Thou art worthy of the service of every power and passion,
every thought and feeling of the soul, which Thou hast
redeemed by Thy Blood. “Serve the Lord with gladness. ”
V. They were Looking for the Son of God. They had
made up their minds to serve, and “to wait for His SON
jyorn Heave%” (v. 10). They believed Christ would come
again, as all the early Christians did, and as He Himself
had promised. This was called “that blessed hope”
(Titus 2. 13). The prophets of old looked and waited for
the Coming of the Messiah long ages before He came; but
in the fulness of the time He did come. The Church may
have waited long, so long that many have lost the vision.New Testament Outlines. 201
and the hope. But in the fulness of the time He will Come
as He said (see John 14. 3; Acts 1. 11; 1 Thess. 4. 16:
Rev. 1. 7).
VI. They were Joyful in the Spirit of God. They had
the “joy of the Holy Ghost” (v. 6). With the Word of
God in their hearts, and this glorious prospect before their
eyes, and the power of the Spirit resting on them, their
service was not a burdensome task, but a happy privilege
and a growing delight. This was characteristic of the
first Church members. “They were filled with joy, and
with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 13. 52). “How are the mighty
fallen ? ”
VII. They were Examples to Others. “Ye were
ensamples to all that believe” (v. 7). This was certainly
a prosperous Church, although there is nothing said
regarding their financial position, no reference to their
“Annual Balance Sheet. ” But their faith in God was
known everywhere (v, S), and the influence of their
missionary enthusiasm, in sounding forth the Word of
God, had been felt throughout Macedonia and Greece.
They honoured Christ as the Head of the Church, and they
were honoured by Him in doing things’ worthy of His
great Name. This is what the Church of Christ shouId do.
This is what every Church true to the Word of God is ; and
this is what every Christian should be-an encouraging
example to others. “Believe, and thou shalt see. ”
COMFORTING WORDS.
1 THESSALONIANS 4. 13-M.
THERE is much food for thought in these verses, closing
with this exhortation : “Wher<fore, comfort one another
with these words” (v 18). There is comfort here con-cernmg-VOL.
x. 14.202 Handfuls on Purpose.
I. The Second Advent. “The Lard Himself shall
descend from Heaven” (v. 16). The Lord does not
promise to send death, or any other messenger, to take
His Bride home. He is coming Himself for her. It is
“this same Jesus which was taken up into Heaven, that
is coming in like manner as He was seen to go” (Acts
1. 11) ; and “they shall see the Son of Man coming in the
clouds of Heaven with power and great glory” (Matt.
24. 30). What a comforting hope this is in these “perilous
times. ”
II. Our Departed Friends. We are not to be in
ignorance about them, nor to be in sorrow for them, for
we believe that Jesus rose again, and that when He comes
He will bring them with Him (vv. 13, 14); for in spirit
they are with Him now (2 Cor. 5. 8). It is the “dead in
Christ” who will rise first (v. 16). This rising means the
putting on of the incorruptible body, being changed into
His resurrection image. They shalI lose nothing by being
put to sleep before the Coming of the Lord (1 Cor. 15. 52).
For we who are alive at the Coming of the Lord shall have
no precedence over those who have gone to sleep (v. 15).
Comforting words indeed.
III. The Living Saints. “Then we which are alive
and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet
the Lord in the air” (v. 17). We are assured, as God’s
people, that all shall not die before He Comes. “We shall
not all sleep (die), but we shall all be chalzged iut a mom&,
in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of His last trump”
(1 Cor. 1. 51, 52). When all in every age who have been
put to sleep in Jesus have been raised and clothed with
immortality, and when all the believers who are alive on
the earth, when He comes, are changed in a moment and
caught up together with them. What a host of ransomed
souls. “A multitude whom no man can number. ” Tell
me, will any man say on that day that the Church of God.New Testament Outlines. 203
has been a failure ? “He shaI1 see of the travail of His
soul, and shall be SATISPIED. ” “Comfort one another
with these words” (v. 18).
IV. The Place of Reunion. “Caught up in the clouds,
to nzeet the Lord ilz the air” (v. 17). The air is spoken of
as the sphere of Satan’s stronghold. He is called “the
prince of the power of the air, the spirits that are now at
work in the hearts of the sons of disobedience” (Eph.
2. 2). Does it mean that the transfiguration and reunion
of all Christ’s redeemed ones will take place right in the
heart of Satan’s territory? What a triumph this would
be for “The Lamb that was slain, ” and for all those who
all their lives were warring against the prince of darkness ?
And what a shameful defeat for the Devil. “I saw Satan
fall like lightning from Heaven” (Luke 10. 18).
V. Our Final Position. “And so shall we ever bc
with the Lord” (v. 17). Saved by Him. Made like Him.
Then for ever with Him. He has gone to prepare a place
for His Church in the coming Kingdom. He will come
again and receive it unto Himself, that where He is, there
shall the Bride be also (John 14. 3). Then the Bride-groom’s
prayer will be gloriously answered. “Father,
I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with
Me where I am ; that They may behold My glory” (John
17. 24) ; and be “‘ for ever with the Lord. ” Earth’s greatest
blessing is to fitid Him. Heaven’s greatest honour is to
be for ever with Him. This honour have all the saints.
“Comfort one another with these words. ”
THREE FACTS OF UNIVERSAL IMPORTANCE,
2 THESSALONIANS 1. 6-12.
HERE are events that are sure to come, and will affect
all mankind..204 Handfuls on Purpose.
I. A New Revehtion. “The Lord Jesus shall be
revealed from Heaven with His angels of might in flaming
fire ” (v. 7). The same Lord Jesus who was forsaken by
His disciples in the time of His greatest sorrow. In the
day of His humiliation He could have called “legions of
angels” to His assistance, but now the angels of His might
came with His burti& Presence, to accomplish His long-delayed
purpose of gathering out of His kingdom all things
that offend and them that do iniquity (Matt. 13. 40-42).
“The reapers are the angels” (Matt. 13. 39). who are
waiting now till the “harvest of the earth is ripe” (Rev.
14. 15). The Lord has been during this age revealing
Himself as the meek and lowly and merciful Christ; but
He will yet reveal Himself as a “flaming fire” against all
ungodliness. Who shall be able to stand when He so
appeareth ?
II. An Unfailing Retribution. “Taking vengeance
on them that know not God, and that obey Hot the Gospel
of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 8) The day of grace has
now passed; there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but
a certain fearful looking for of judgment andfiery indigna-tiolz,
which shall devour the adversaries (Heb. 10. 27).
The culprits are those who know not God, because they have
sot obeyed the good news of Jesus Christ. To obey the call
of the Gospel of Christ is the way to know God, whom to
know is eternal life. There may be some excuse for
ignorance, but there is no excuse for neglect. “How shall
we escape if we neglect so great salvation ? ” What is the
punishment ? Everlasting destruction from the Presence
of the Lord and the glory of His power. Not annihilation,
but eternal banishment from the Presence of the Lord and
the glory of His power. “In His presence there is fulness
of joy. At His right hand there are pleasures for evermore”
(Psa. 16. 11). Then what will it mean for those who are
eternally exiled from the Kingdom of God and the pleasures.New Testament Outlines. 205
that are ever flowing from His beneficent Presence ?
Call this state or condition by whatever name you may.
There is an awful atmosphere about it. “Escape for thy
life. ”
III. A Christ-Honouring Reward. “He shall come
to be glorified in His saids, and admired in all them that
believe” (v. 10). He shall be glorified in glorifying His
saints with His own glorious likeness. He shall be
“admired” in the work of grace bestowed upon all them
that believe. While the reward will be ours, the glory
will be His. “Not unto us, 0 Lord, but unto Thy Name
be the glory. ” “All principalities and powers in heavenly
places shall be made to know by the Church, the manifold
wisdom of God“ (Eph. 3. 10). We shall be satisfied when
we shall see Him as He is; and He shall be satisfied when
He shall see us as we shall then be. The Chwch will be
His joy and crown of rejoicing at His Coming (1 Thess.
2. 19, 20), and something to be wondered at through all
the coming ages. Its presence with the Christ of God in
the glory will mean : “Blessing and glory, and wisdom and
thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, unto
our God for ever and ever” (Rev. 7. 12).
“Thou shalt see my glory soon,
When the Work of Grace is done. ”
THE “MAN OF SIN.”
2 THESSALONIANS 2. l-12.
IN the above verses we have a prophetic picture drawn by
the inspired apostle, which demands serious attention in
these days. and which is also a powerful indictment
against the popular doctrine that the “world will be con-verted”
before the Coming of the Lord. Paul bases his
appeal (vv. 1, 2) on the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is
Coming, and that His people will be gathered together.206 Handfuls on Purpose.
unto Him on that day. Then gives the warning against
being “shaken in mind” or “troubled” because of false
teaching concerning His Coming. But His appearing is
certain ; so also is the appearing of that “Man of Sin” (v. 3).
I.-The Time of His Appearing. Two conditions
precede “The Day of Christ. ” First, there will be a
“falling away” from the faith, then the revelation of that
“Man of Sin. ” This falling away must mean the apostasy
of the Church in the denial of those truths once believed or
consented to. No one can fall away from where they have
never been. The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter
times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to
seducing spirits, etc. (1 Tim. 4. l-3). “The mystery of
iniquity, ” or, rather, lawlessness, is always in evidence
(v. 7). This is the spirit of Antichrist, which even now
already is in the world (1 John 4. 3)’ and in these days
abundantly manifest in midst of much preaching and
Bible distribution. Lawlessness, which is the practical
denial of Divine and Spiritual authority, is a congenial
moral condition for the appearing and work of this “Man
of Sin. ” The fulness of the time for his manifestation
may be near (2 Peter 2. 1, 2).
II. His Character. He is called “the son of perdition”
(v. 3). As Jesus, the Son of God, was the embodiment of
the Divine character, so the “son of perdition” seems to be
the human embodiment of the satanic character, for “His
coming will be after the working of Satan” (v. 9). He is
also called “that wicked one, ” whom the Lord will con-sume
with the “brightness of His Coming” (v. 8). Does
this imply that sin and lawlessness will yet find its cul-mination
in a persolz, a man of the world, energised by
satanic power, believed .in, and followed by a restless,
sceptical, and Christ-defiant populace, making their last
united attempt to overthrow the faith that was “once for
all delivered unto the saints I ”.New Testament Outlines. 207
III. His Purpose. Is to oppose everything that
belongs to God, and His Christ and to exalt himself above
all that is called God, or that is worshipped (v. 4). Thus
showing himself to be “the Antichist. ” “Exalting him-self,”
this was the sin of Satan at the beginning, but by
becoming incarnate in the “Man of Sin, ” will surely be
his last device to seduce a gullible humanity. He has
always been the “Deceiver of the whole world. ” If Satan
hopes to succeed by this blasphemous pretention of being
himself above “all that is called godly, ” it certainly
rcvcals something of the terrible depths into which
humanity has fallen by this departure from the truth.
Beware of self-seeking and self-exaltation, it savours of
the “Man of Sin. ” “He that exalteth himself shall be
abased. ” “Not I, but Christ, ” is the only absolutely safe
attitude.
IV. His Methods. They are varied and mighty.
“With all power and sigrcs, ” and “lying roo%ders, ” with all
“deceivablelzess of unrighteoz(sness” (w. 9, 10). That is,
with every wicked device agreeable to those who are on
their way to perdition. This “Man of Sin” looks like the
beast that is to come otit of the earth with the power
(horns) of a lamb, and the passion and purpose of a dragon ;
and who is able to make fire come down from heaven in the
sight of me% (Rev. 13. 11-13). We have often thought of
the “wiles of the devil” in relation to our individual life,
but here is a “Man of Sin, ” the offspring of perdit.ion
(v. 3)’ endued with the power of Satan, worshipped as God,
and leading to the eternal abyss the multitudes of those
who “have not received the love of the truth that they might
be saved” (v. 10). The wonders of the truth were rejected
for “lying wonders. ”
V. His Hinderer. There is One who is a Hinderer to
his diabolical mission. “He that hindereth will hinder,
until He be take% out of the way” (v. 7)..208 Handfuls on Purpose.
1. WHO IS HE ? This hinderer is not a system, or
party, but a Person. He must be mighty and Divine to
resist such powerful and delusive work. Who can He be
but the Holy Spirit of God, who is still striving with men,
and leading many to Jesus Christ.
2. How DOES HE HINDER ? By o@enirsg the blinded
eyes of sinners to see their lzeed of a Saviour. By revealing
to them the things that are Christ’s for their salvation.
By guiding them into the truth which satisfies and fortifies
against the “wiles of the Devil. ”
3. WHEN SHALL HE BE “TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY ? ”
Surely when the Church of God is taken away from the
world, as in 1 Thessalonians 4. 17. The Church, as the
Redeemed Body of Christ, is presently the “temple of the
Holy Ghost. ” When He is taken away with the Church,
then shall He cease to “strive with men. ” Then who shall
hinder Satan in his work of deception and spiritual destruc-tion
? “If the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be
salted ? ”
VI. His Temporary Ally. For once we see God adding
His influence to crown Satan’s efforts with success. What
an awful crisis this is. The people have rejected His truth
that was given to save them (v. 10). “For this cause He
sent them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”
(v. ll), because they would not believe the truth (v. 12).
Thus making their condemnation doubly sure. Brethren,
what shall we say to these things ? God is not to he
mocked. When Israel would not hearken to His voice
He gave them up to their own hearts’ lusts (Psa. 81.
11, 12). In the reign of the coming “Man of Sin, ” when
men’s spiritual indifference has turned into God-defiance,
and God’s longsuffering mercy turned into loathing and
vengeance, then what shall the end be ? (1 Thess 1. 8).
VII. His Destruction. The Lawless One, “whom the.New Testament Outlines. 209
Lord will sweep away with the tempest of His anger, and
utterly overwhelm by the awful splendour of His Coming”
(v. 8). Those who have been dazzled and bewitched, and
awe-stricken by the lying wonders of this Satanic “man, ”
will be smitten with terrible confusion before the “BRIGHT-NESS
of His Coming. ” “They shall see the SOB of Man
coming in the clouds of Heaven, with power and GREAT
GLORY” (Matt. 24. 30). The glory of that “Man of Sin”
will be discovered as a delusive will-o-the-wisp in the
Presence of the glorious effulgence of the Man Christ
Jesus. But there will be those at His Coming who shall
say: “Lo, this is OUY God. We have waited for Him. He
will save us, and we will rejoice in His salvatiort” (Isa.
25. 9). “Even so, come, Lord Jesus. ”
A PERFECT PATTERN.
1 TIMOTHY 1. 11-17.
HERE the apostle speaks of himself as a pattern to believers
(v. 16). A pattern may be given as a specimen of work-manship
for exhibition, or as an example for imitation.
Paul’s experience was both an exhibition of Divine grace
and an example to all them “which should hereafter
believe. ” We shall look at him as a pattern or specimen of-I.
Sin’ s Delusiveness. He was “a blasphemer, a
persecutor, and injurious” (v, 13). Here is a man so self-deceived
that he thought he was doing God service by
making havoc of the Church (Acts 26. Q-11). History
has furnished us with many examples of the same kind of
madness, through the pride and prejudice of unbelieving
hearts and sin-blinded minds. But what a disillusion came
when this “Jesus of Nazareth” whom he was persecuting,
met him and smote him to the earth with the brightness
of His Presence, and when he, “trembling and astonished, ”.210 Handfuls on Purpose.
said, “Lord, what wilt Thozl have me to do? ” (Acts
9. l-6). Every saved sinner has in some measure made
the same discovery.
II. Abundant Grace. “I obtained mercy: the :,racc
of our Lord was exceeding abundant” (vv. 13, 14). The
might and the abounding sufficiency of the grace of Christ
to subdue and to save a sinner surely was never more
manifest. Here is a pattern of what the “grace of our
Lord” can do. “Where sin abounded, grace did much
more abound” (Rom. 5. 20). He was thankfully speaking
the truth when he said: “By the grace of God I am what
I am” (1 Cor. 15. 10). If the “chief of sinners” was saved
by grace, none need despair. “By grace are ye saved
through faith. ” But remember that it is the grace of GOD.
III. Believers’ Responsibility. “The Gospel of the
glory of the blessed God was committed unto me” (v. 14).
If we have been made partakers of this same salvation, are
we not also partakers in some measure of this responsi-bility
? The good 1zews has been given to save us, and
also as a de$osit that we might be a blessing to others.
If God, “who commanded the light to shine out of dark-ness,
hath shined in our hearts, giving us the light of the
klzowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, ”
then He has also commanded that we let our light shine.
“Ye are as lights in the world” (2 Cor. 4. 6). “Go ye,
therefore, preach the Gospel by lip and life. ”
IV. Christian Testimony. As a brief and perfect
pattern of personal testimony, there can be nothing on
record more effective than 1 Timothy 1. 15. “This is a
faithful saying, and worthy of the acceptation of all, that
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom
I am chief. ” This saying is as faithful as God Himself is,
and the blessing offered meets the most urgent need of
humanity “to save sinlzers. ” No statement more worthily.New Testament Outlines. 211
deserves the acceptation of all. Jesus Christ came i&o
the world to save. Where did He come from 9 What an
incidental proof of His pre-existence. Through Him God
the Father is commend&g His love to a rebellious race
(Rom. 5. 8). Do your friends know what great things
God hath done for your soul 7 (Mark 5. 19). The Psalmist
said : “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will
declare what He hath done for my soul” (Psa. 66. 16).
“Let him that heareth say, Come. ”
V. Praise and Thanksgiving. What a beautiful
pattern this is. “Now to the immortal and invisible
KING of all the ages, who alone is God, be honour and
glory to the ages of the ages. Amen” (v. 17). Often the
language of mortals cannot express the deep things the
heart may feel; but God judgeth the heart, and takes
account of every thankful recognition of His mercies.
Praise and thanksgiving, adoration and worship, are most
fitting when the Majesty of God‘s goodness becomes over-whelming.
“Oh that men would praise the Lord for His
goodness” (Psa. 107. 15). In counting your many bless-ings,
do not fail to add your benediction.
INTERCESSORS NEEDED.
1 TIMOTHY 2. 1-6.
IN Isaiah 59. 16 we read that the Lord “wondered that
there was no intercessor. ” He wondered at the folly and
unbelief of His people, in neglecting this most effective
means of blessing. This is a privilege within the reach
of every child of God, a sphere of service open to every
believer to make irttercession.
I. Its Importance. “I exhort, therefore, that first
of all supplications, prayers, intercessions be made”
(v. 1). Here this holy exercise gets the first place in his.212 Handfuls on Purpose.
exhortations. It is possible that an intercessor’s reward
may be greater than a preacher ‘ s. Samuel knew how this
honoured the Lord when he declared: “As for me, God
forbid that I should sin against Jehovah by ceasirtg to pray
for you” (1 Sam. 12. 23). Prayerlessness is not only a
sin against our own souls, but our fellowmen, and against
God.
II. Its Scope. “For all men and for all iut authority”
(vv. 1, 2). If ye know not what to pray for as ye ought,
here at least is a wide field for its operation. Those of the
Captivity were exhorted to “seek the peace of the city
wherever they were, and to pray unto the Lord for it”
(Jer. 29. 7). Our modern cities are in desperate need of
intercessors, and perhaps our modern Churches not less.
In praying for “all men, ” don’t forget the all in your own
home, all in your fellowship, city, and nation. Remember
the great ALL for whom Christ died.
III. Its Incentives. As an encouragement for inter-cession,
think of-1.
THE WILL OF GOD. “Who will have all men to be
saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”
(v. 4). By His own power God could save all men whether
they will or not. But in grace He is willing to save all
that come unto the knowledge of the truth. In praying
for “all men” we are in line with the Divine will, and
helping the fulfilment of His purpose.
2. THE RANSOM PRICE. “Christ gave Himself a ransom
for all” (v. 6). There is ample provision in the death of
Christ, and in the will of the Father for the salvation of
all men. “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the
sin of the world” (John 1. 29).
3. THE MEDIATOR. “There is one Mediator between
God and men, the Man Chirst Jesus” (v. 5). What an
incentive to prayer this is, when we realise that the Eternal.New Testament Outlines. 213
Son of God in the likeness of mea is our Mediator before
the throne, and He ever liveth to make intercession.
Ponder als-IV.
The Examples set before us. Abraham interceded
for the doomed city of Sodom (Gen. 18. 24), Moses on the
hill top with uplifted hands silently pleading for victory
(Exod. 17), Elijah praying for a Divine manifestation
that the nation might be rescued from idolatry (1 Kings
18. 37), Job in midst of his sorrow and sufferings making
intercession for his mistaken friends (Job 42. 10). Think
also of “the .Man of Sorrows, ” who was wounded and
bruised for our iniquities, yet He made intercession for the
transgressors (Isa. 53. 1!2), and His last prayer on earth
was for His murderers. “Father, forgive them. ” Well
may we pray. “Lord, teach us to pray. ” The need for
intercessors is a great and growing need, for the harvest
is plelzteozls, but the divinely equipped labourers are few.
Pray ye therefore (Matt. 9. 37, 33).
THE FOUNDATION, THE HOUSE, AND ITS
V E S S E L S.
2 TIMOTHY 2. 19-21.
TIMOTHY is being warned against a cankerous error that
had overthrown the faith of some ; but no amount of error
can alter the “foundation of God. ”
I. The Foundation. It is “the foundation of God”
(v. 19).
1. IT IS SURE. “It standeth sure. ” This Rock, as a
foundation for God’s building, is as firmly established
as His own Eternal Throne, for that Rock is Christ (Matt.
16. 16), and He liveth and abideth for ever (1 Cor. 3. 11).
2. IT IS UNMISTAKABLE. Having this inscription :
“The Lord knoweth them that are His. ” Every individual.214 Handfuls on Purpose.
soul that is trusting in Christ is known persorcally by Him.
This is not true of any other religion under Heaven.
Multitudes bow to dead prophets and false gods, but the
worshippers are individually unknown by the objects of
their adoration. “I know My sheep” (John 10. 14).
II. The House, “In a great house there are different
vessels” (v. 20). This “great house” doubtless refers t0
the “Church of God” (1 Tim. 3. 15). Which is the biggest
and most self-evidelzt concern in the world, because it is
the strongest, built on Jesus Christ, who is the embodiment
of Eternal Truth. It is great, because it is occupied by a
great tenant, the Holy Spirit, who is through Christ’s
Body, the Church, seeking to fulfil the great purpose of
God in the salvation of men. It is a great house, has
been abuilding for over 1900 years, and is still being
“added to ”
III. The Vessels. In every great house there are
vessels of different value and design, suited for all useful
purposes. “Some gold and silver, some wood and earthen-ware”
(v. 20). Some to honour and some for common use.
Those of gold and silver get the position of honour, because
of their more perfect character and special fitness for the
higher and more conspicuous service. Those servants who
may be classed with the “wood and earthenware” types
may be just as useful in their own sphere as their more
honoured brethren. The gold and silver vessels are not
looked for in the lowly but indespensable work of the
kitchen. God’s servants have a11 their own place in the
great house of God. Some prophets, some apostles, some
pastors, some teachers, some evangelists, and some who
may be the “wood and earthenware, ” who are taken no
special notice of, but who are waiting and ready to be
used for anything that the Master appoints. These vessels,
though different in character, all belong to the same great.New Testament Outlines. 215
house, and owned by the same Master, and are all needed
for the one purpose, the fulfilling of their Lord’s will.
All have not the same gifts and qualifications, but all are
partakers of the same grace. There is no occasion for envy
or jealousy. Each one might say: “By the grace of God
I am what I am. ”
But the alchemy of Divine grace is suggested here. It is
$ossible for a common vessel to be transformed into a
vessel of honour. “If a man purge himself from all that is
false and unclean, he shall be made a vessel unto honour,
sanctified and made meet for the Master’s use, fully
equi@ed unto every good work” (v. 21). “Behold, as the
clay is in the hand of the potter, so are ye in Mine” (Jer.
18. 6). “We are His workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2. 10). “Lord, what wilt
Thou have me to do ? ”
A DYING CHRISTIAN’ S TESTIMONY.
2 TIMOTHY 4. 6-8.
THIS joyful testimony was written by Paul the prisoner,
while lying in a dungeon at Rome, waiting the hour of
his doom. It speaks of-I.
A Victorious Past.
1. As a SOLDIER. He had “Fought a good fight ” (v. 7).
He had gone through a glorious contest. He had fought
“the good fight of faith” against all the principalities and
powers of evil, seen and unseen. It was a good fight,
because it was for the goodness he had discovered in his
God and Saviour.
2. As a RACER. He had “finished his course. ” His
course was specially marked out for him (Acts 9. 15, 16).
The track Divinely ordained for this runner had many
obstacles, which proved hard for flesh and blood. “The
Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city saying that bonds.216 Handfuls on Purpose.
and afflictions abide me” (Acts 20. 23). It is ours “to
run ilz the way of His commandments ; ” it is His to help
us to finish.
3. As a BELIEVER. He had “kept the faith. ” He had
guarded the truth revealed to him, and preached and pre-sented
the Gospel of God’s grace as revealed in Jesus
Christ. If any man “preach any other Gospel let him be
accursed” (Gal. 1. 8).
II. A Peaceful Present. “I am now ready, and the
time of my departure is at hand” (v. 6). He was ready,
like r$e fruit, to fall into the hand of Him to whom he
belonged. Death to him had no sting or terrors; to him
the grave had no victory. To depart was to be “with
Christ, which is far better” (Phil. 1. 23). “Be ye also
ready. ” Our readiness does not consist in the amount
of good works we may have done, or the number of years
we have lived, but in that “quietness and confidence ” in
Jesus Christ which brings the strength of His prevailing
peace into the heart, and that calmly whispers: “Father,
not my will, but Thine be done. Thou hast redeemed me,
0 Lord. Into Thy hands I commit my spirit. ” A Scots-man
lay dying in a country home, while a snow storm was
on. His daughter said: “Father, will I read to you. ”
He answered : “Na, my lassie, don ‘t trouble. I thatched
my house in calm weather. ”
III. A Blissful Future. “Henceforth there is laid up
for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord will give
me” (v. 8). The crown of righteousness is the reward that
is kept for and bestowed upon those who have lived the
righteous, God-pleasing life. It is not only for an apostle,
but for “all them that love His appearing. ” Does not this
imply that loving His appearing has a gracious and
inspiring influence on the life ? This faith in, and this
lookingfor, the Coming of the Lord is no vain and fruitless.New Testament Outlines. 217
imagination, but an holy incentive to a righteous life.
“He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself. ” “When
the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown
of glory that fadeth not away” (1 Peter 5. 4). The Second
Coming of Christ is the enlightened believer’s perennial
expectation and the world’s only hope of deliverance
(Rom. 11. 26).
“Behold I come quickly: and My reward is with Me, to
give every man according as his work shall be” (Rev.
22. 12).
SEVEN WONDERS.
TITUS 2. 11-14.
THE novelty huntersare very numerous ; like the Athenians
they are always grasping for something new. But the
greatest wonder in the world is the Bible. Its origin,
teaching, and power are all superhuman.
I. A Wonderful Exhibition, “The grace of God that
bringeth salvation to all men hath appeared. ” This is an
exhibition of the grace of God. This means all the attri-butes
of God, flowing out in order to save men. An
exposition of the goodness of God. This is seen at the
Cross of Calvary, in the Son of God’s love, bleeding and
dying for guilty men. The great “World’s Fair” was only
a heap of rubbish compared with this.
II. A Wonderful Character. Jesus is here called
“The Great God and our Saviour. ” You may say Jesus
Christ was only a man. Paul declares that He was the
Great God. “His Name shall be called Wonderful-the
Mighty God. ” What consolation is here for the Christian !
Your Saviour is the Great God-fear not. What encourage-ment
is here for the anxious I The great God is a Saviour-fear
not to trust Him. What consternation is here for the
self-righteous. You hope to save yourself, how fruitless
your effort. It takes the Great God to save a soul. VOL. x. 16.218 Handfuls on Purpose.
III. A Wonderful Gift. “He gave Himself for US. ”
For a man to lay down his life for his friend is wonderful.
This is man at his best. But while we were yet enemies,
Christ died for us. This is Divine. This is the only
example the history of the world has ever given US of one
willingly dying for his own murderers. He gave Himself
for you. What hast thou given for Him? Oh, you say,
“I have no time. ” What, no time to thank thy God for
such a Gift.
Room and time now give to Jesus,
Soon will pass God ‘ s day of Grace ;
Soon thy heart be cold and silent,
And thy Saviour ‘ s pleadings cease.
IV. A Wonderful Work. The work of Christ as here
stated was to redeem and to purify, to purchase and to
cleanse. When a woman buys a set of china, she does not
thiuk them fit for use until they are washed. They are
bought, then washed. The Lord uses us, not because we
are great and gifted ; not because we are clever, but because
we are clean. It is not enough that we be redeemed. If
God is to be glorified in us we must be cleansed.
V. A Wonderful People. The redeemed and the
purified are to be “a @eculiar people. ” Some Christians
are afraid of being peculiar, lest they should be talked
about. They wish to mar the very works by which they
ought to be known. Christians are a peculiar people.
They have a peculiar citizenship. Their citizenship is in
Heaven, because they have been born from above. Such
a birth is not a thing to be ashamed of. They speak a
peculiar language. The ungodly don’t care about their
conversation any more than for one speaking in a foreign
tongue.
VI. A Wonderful Life. The life of the redeemed man
is to be a resisting life. “A denying of ungodliness. ” It
is to be a sober life, not only a teetotal life, This is.New Testament Outlines. 219
implied, but much more. Be sober in your eating, in
your clothing, in your speech. It is to be a righteous life.
The Christian should be the most punctual business man,
the most trustworthy of all men. It is to be a godly life.
A life beaming with the gentleness and truthfulness of
Jesus, reflecting back on a dark world the image of the
invisible God. It is to be an active life, “zealous of good
works. ”
VII. A Wonderful Prospect. “Looking for His
glorious appearing. ” That the sun will rise to-morrow
is not more certain than that Christ will come again. It
may seem strange that He should say, “Behold, I come
quickly, ” nineteen hundred years ago, and not to have
come yet. But ive must remember that 1000 years are
with the Lord as but one day, so that two days have not
yet passed according to His reckoning. He will come.
Are you ready for His appearing ? God grant that you may
be prepared for that great day.
FULL SALVATION.
TITUS 3. 3-7.
IT is easy to say that there is fulness of water in the ocean,
fulness of wealth in the earth, and fulness of light in the
sun ; but can the rzkhness of this fulness be reckoned up ?
So there is fulness of salvation in the grace of God, but
that fullzess can only be realised in the ages of the ages.
In the above Scripture we see what might be termed
seven steps into a full salvation.
I. An Honest Confession. “We ourselves also were
sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, and slaves of
sin” (v. 3). Confession is the opening of the windows of
the heart to the light of Heaven: an acknowledgment
before God of our guilt and need of His mercy. God is
faithful and just to forgive every sincere confessor
(1 John 1. 9)..220 Handfuls on Purpose.
II. A Divine Revelation. Of the “kindness and love
of God our Saviour toward men ” (v. 4). God’s kindness
and love, as revealed in Christ Jesus, is the greatest and
most precious discovery any sinful man ever made. To
him it is a fountain opened, where streams of mercy flow
for all his sin and uncleanness. When seen and trusted,
constraining him to make this other confession: “Herein
is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and
sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John
4. 9, 10). ’
III. A Complete Justification. “Being justified
by His grace” (v. 7). As we have sinned against God, God
alone can justify. This He does by His own free, un-merited
favour, through Jesus Christ. “It is not by
works, lest any man should boast” (Gal. 2. 16). When
God justifies the believer in Jesus it is an evidence that
his forgiveness has been full and complete.
IV. An Entire Regeneration. “He saved us by the
washing of regeneration” (v. 5). Suppose it were possible
to be justified from all sin, and yet not be changed in
heart, or made a new creature How soon this justified one
would be like the sow that was washed returning again to
the mire. “Whom God justified, them He also glorified”
(Rom. 8. 39). Justification sets us right with God for
further blessing. Regeneration makes us like God in
character for holy service. It would not be a f%U salvation
without being “born from above. ”
V. A Daily Renovation. To meet this need there is
“the renewing of the Holy Ghost which He shed on us
abundantly” (vv. 5, 6). This is the Divine remedy for
spiritual staleness. “Be renewed in the spirit of your
mind” (Eph. 4. 23). Along life’s rough path there is
much to tear and wear the energy of the soul ; but the
Holy Spirit can renew our freshness and fitness by His.New Testament Outlines. 221
quickening influence. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth. ”
Here the flesh profiteth nothing. Where the Spirit of the
Lord is, there is liberty. Our Lord said : “He that believeth
on Me out of his inner man shall flow rivers of Zivi+zg
water : this spake He of the Spirit” (John 7. 37). “Believe
and thou shalt see. ”
VI. An Eternal Possession. “Made heirs of the life
of the ages” (v. 7). Our Heavenly Father has such vast
possessions that every child “born of God” becomes an
heir-not merely of eternal existence, that is seen, without
being “born again ;” but of the abundant life that is in
Jesus Christ, throughout all the coming ages. Thus we
have fulness of mercy to begin with, fulness of grace to
continue in, and at last fulness of life to glory in through
all eternity. “He that hath the Son hath life” (1 John
5. 11). “He is able to save to the UTTERMOST. "
ALMOST .A CHRISTIAN.
A C T S 2 6 . 2 8.
1. What you Might Be, and Not Be a Christian.
Born in a Christian country.
Brought up in a Christian family (Judas).
Educated in a Christian fashion.
Connected with a Christian Church.
Buried in a Christian manner.
2. What is a Christian ?
One who has received Christ.
One who belongs to Christ.
One who is like Christ.
One who saves Christ.
3. What is it to be an Almost Christian?
It is to see your need and not confess it.
It is to wish to be saved and remain undecided.
It is to be at the dooy, but still outside..222 Handfuls on Purpose.
BIBLE READINGS.
THE POWER OF PRAYER.
WE have more need to be taught to pray than to preach.
“Wireless” communication may be a mystery to many,
but it is a great reality to those who make use of it. With
regard to prayer, there is need for a rediscovery of the
possibilities that have always existed, that of direct
communication with eternal personalities.
I. Conditions of Power in Prayer.
1. THE WILL OF GOD. “This is the confidence that we
have in Him, that if we ask anything accovdhzg to His will,
He heareth us, and if we know that He hears us we know
that we have” (1 John 5. 14, 15). The supreme source of
all power in prayer belongeth unto God.
2. THE NAME OF JESUS. “Whatsoever ye shall ask ilr
My Name, that will I do ; that the Father may be glorified”
(John 14. 13, 14). His “Name” stands for all that Jesus
Christ is in the eyes of His Father. When praying in
His Name, think of His character and work. “No man can
come unto the Father but by Me. ” “Abide in Me, then
ask what ye will” (John 15. 7).
3. THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. When we do
not know how to pray as we ozcght, the Holy Spirit Himself
maketh intercession for us (Rom. 8. 26). When we cannot
frame our words to express the deep yearnings of the soul,
the Holy Spirit, who is a “discerner of the thoughts of the
heart, ” helps our infirmities by making intercession for US
4. THE FAITH OF THE HEART. With the heart man
believeth. “Let him ask &z faith, nothing wavering”
(James. 1. 5, 6). It is the desire of the heart that is to be.Bible Readings. !2!23
made known unto God (Mark 11. 24), and the Word of
God must be trusted. Asking in faith means receiving
with joy (John 16. 24). Thus we have a fourfold secret
of power.
II. Hindrances to Effectual Prayer. These are
numerous. Here are some that are common.
1. SELFISHNESS. “Ye ask and receive not because ye
ask amiss: that ye might use it for your own pleasures”
(Jas. 4. 3). We ask amiss when we ask anything for the
honour and exaltation of self. “God will not give His
glory to another. ” To many this is a subtle and powerful
temptation.
2. SECRET SIN. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the
Lord will not hear me” (Psa. 66. 18). Let us see that,
first of all, our own souls are “cleansed from secret fault. ”
Remember the wandering, “searching eyes of the Lord”
(2 Chron. 16. 9).
3. UNBELIEF. “He that cometh to God must believe”
(Heb. 11. 6). “Let not that man that wavereth in his
trust think that he shall receive anything of the Lord”
(Jas. 1. 7).
4. FORMALITY . Jesus said, “If ye ask anything in My
Name, I will do it” (John 14. 14). We may end our
prayers with, “For Christ’s sake, Amen, ” when there has
been nothing for Ckvist’ s sake in the prayer. This holy
and almighty NAME is often used in heartless flippancy.
This was the condemnation of the leading Pharisees. The
angel prayers ascend and descend upon the Son of Mart.
5. AN UNFORGIVING SPIRIT. When ye pray, forgive;
if you do not foorgive, neither will your heavenly Father
forgive you (Mark 11. 25, 26). No use praying if har-bouring
a grudge against any one. We must forgive one
another, as Christ forgave us (Col. 3. 13).
6. IMPATIENCE. “He is the Rewarder of them that.224 Handfuls on Purpose.
diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11. 6). The reward may be
lost for lack of perseverance. Abraham prevailed because
he staggered not at the promise of God (Rom. 4. 20).
Jacob prevailed because he would not Iet go. Elijah
prevailed in Mount Carmel because he co&n& in prayer
when there was no sign of rain, saying, “Go again seven
times. ” The widow prevailed with the unjust judge
because of her importunity, and Jesus added: “Shall not
God avenge His own which cry day and night unto Him,
though He bare long with them ? ” (Luke 18. l-7). I tell
yozl that Hc will (v. 8).
THE MIND OF CHRIST.
“LET this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”
(Phil. 2. 5). The mind of Christ has been a mystery in
every age. It is expected that all Christ’s followers
should have the same disposition as their Master. “I
have given you an example, that ye should do as I have
done to you” (John 13. 15). Features of Christ’s mind.
I. Resignation. “Not My will, but Thine be done”
(Luke 22. 42). This is the foundation of true Christian
character. Willing to be absent from the body of self-interest
and to be present with the will of God. Seeking
not our own will, but the will of our Father (John 5. 30).
“Even Christ pleased not Himself” (Rom. 15. 3). “I
delight to do Thy will, 0 my God. ” Submit thyself unto
God.
II. Devotedness. “Wist ye not that I must be about
my Father’s business ?” (Luke 2. 42). His Father’s
business was the highest and most important concern in
the world. He was fully devoted to “work the works of
Him that sent Me. ” His meat was to do His will and to
firtish His work (John 4. 34). What a privilege to be a
partner in such a business and to be “workers together”.Bible Readings. 225
with Him in the fulfilling of the Father’s purpose. Let
this mind be in you which was also in Him.
III. Meekness, “I am meek and Lowly in head”
(Matt. 11. 29). Where this Christ-likeness is lacking there
is suitable soil for the growth of pride and presumption,
selfishness, envy, covetousness, high-mindedness, and the
love of pleasure more than the love of God. We find Paul
beseeching believers by the meekness and gmtleness of
Ckist (2 Cor. 10. 1). He made Himself of 120 reputation,
and took upon Him the form of a servant (Phil. 2. 7).
Let this mind be in you. “Blessed are the meek, ” they
shall inherit (Matt. 5. 5). They shall be guided and
taught His way (Psa. 25. 9). They shall increase their
joy in the Lord (Isa. 29. 19). They shall find rest in His
service (Matt. 11. 29).
IV. Prayerfulness. Christ was the busiest man on
earth, but He always found time to pray, and sometimes
continued all night in prayer (Luke 6. 12). He was
emphatically “the Man of Prayer. ” He prayed (Mark.
1. 35; Luke 5. 16; 6. 12; 9. 23, 29; John 11. 41; 17. 1;
Matt. 26. 36-39; Heb. 5. 7-9). These are only recorded
prayers. He never was out of fellowship with His Father.
His whole life was one long, unbroken intercession. “Let
this mind be in you. ” “Pray without ceasing. ”
V. Sympathy. “Jesus wept. ” He saw Mary weeping.
He also wept (John 11. 33-35). When He beheld the city
He wept over it (Luke 19. 41). He, as our High Priest,
is touched with the feeling of our iBfir+vzities (Heb.
4. 15). We are also taught to “weep with those that weep,
and rejoice with those that rejoice. ” The grace of God
never saves us from human brotherliness. Let this mind
be in you.
VI. Grief at the Unbelief of Others. He looked
round about on the staring and sceptical crowd, and was.226 Handfuls on Purpose.
“grieved for the hardness of their hearts” (Mark 3. 5).
Ke knew tkr seed and also His own ability to help them,
and grieved at their madness in committing spiritual
suicide. As Christian workers we know the need of the
unsaved, and we also know the remedy. Does this un-belief
touch our hearts with real sorrow? Is this disposi-t
ion in us ?
VII. Benevolence. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Ghost, who went aboz& doing good” (Acts
10. 38). The great purpose of His life was to show kind-ness
and to offer help. To accomplish this He was con-stantly
“‘goisg about” looking for opportunities to show
the “kindness of God. ” What a power the Church of God
would be if all belonging to it were possessed with this
mind. Let this mind be in you for this is the highest
ideal in Christian living.
THE GOSPEL, A DIVINE REVELATION.
A SIMPLE definition of the term “Gospel” is “good news, ”
“glad tidings of good things, ” but the Biblical definition
is not quite so elementary. What is this good news?
What are these glad tidings ? To include all that the
New Testament teaches as embodied in the Gospel is to
take in the whole universe of grace. The seven prismatic
colours in nature are all visible in the rainbow. The
sevenfold character of the Gospel is revealed in the grace-bow
of Divine promise
I. What this Gospel Is. It is called-1.
THE GOSPEL OF GOD (Rom. 1. 1). It is the good
news of God’s merciful attitude toward the world. “God
so loved the world that He gave His Son” (John 3. 16).
He who declared, “All souls are mine, ” now reveals
Himself as seeking to save all through the sacrifice of His
own son..Bible Readings. 227
2. THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST (Rom. 1. 16). Paul declared :
“I am not ashamed of the the good news ; it is God’s power
which is at work for the salvation of every one who be-lieves.
” Christ’s character and work, including His life,
death, and resurrection is the brightness, or the flashing
out, of the glory of Divine love and power.
3. THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD (Acts 20. 24).
Can we realise what grace really means as offered by the
Almighty God ? It is favour bestowed on us, with all the
Almightiness of God in it. The grace of God is God’s
power operating in love and mercy on our behalf. This
grace was manifested in Jesus Christ, His Son. Surely
this is “good news. ”
4. THE GOSPEL OF YOUR SALVATION (Eph. 1. 1 3 ).
Good news for your own individual soul. Something to
meet our own personal weeds, to call forth our own heart’s
trust, thanksgiving, and grateful service. “Of His ozan
will begat He us with the word of truth” (Jas. 1. 18).
Thanks be unto God for such joyful tidings.
5. THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM (Mark 1. 14). The
good tidings of a kingdom yet to come, when Jesus shall
reign from sea to sea, and the uttermost parts of the earth
shall become His possession. Meanwhile this “Gospel
of the Kingdom is to be preached in all the world for a
witness unto all nations, and tlte?z shall the end come”
(Matt. 24. 14).
6. THE EVESLASTING GOSPEL (Rev. 14. 6). This is the
good news of the ages. Here is something that shall never
lose its freshness. It is eternally good, and growingly
precious to every believer. What a contrast to the
delusive pleasures of the worldlings. Pleasures for ever
more at God’s right hand.
7. THE GOSPEL OF THE GLORY OF CHRIST (2 Cor. 4. 4).
The Gospel is truly “glorious, ” but here it is the “good.228 Handfuls on Purpoce .
news” of the glory of Christ. The Christ who gave Himself
to the “accursed death of the Cross” is now glorified, and
has become our Mediator before the Throne of God. Glad
tidings indeed, that our Lord is now “exalted above every
name that is named. ”
II. This Gospel is a Revelation. Manifold and in-tensely
Divine. It is a message from the Father of spirits
to human spirits. The four evangelists never attempt to
describe Christ, or even to give their own opinions of Him.
They simply “declare Him. ” In this Gospel, then, we
have-Something
that could not be ilrvented by man, because
the natural mind could never conceive what it is not able
to receive, apart from the Holy Spirit.
Something that man could never discover, but by the
revelation. This is the mystery of Godliness.
Something for which civilisation has no substitute.
Something amid all the advancements of the ages which
can never be improved.
Something that neither God nor man will never be
ashamed of.
Something which alone can solve the mystery of human
guilt and the righteousness of God. This is the Gospel
of peace (Rom. 10. 15).
Something that the “angels desire to look into, ” as a
new manifestation of the Divine character (1 Peter 1. 12).
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by ? .
THE CHRISTIAN’ S RELATIONSHIP TO
THE WORLD.
IT is important to note that the word “world” in the New
Testament does not always mean “people, ” as in John
3. 16 and 1 John 2. 2, but frequently means “age ; ” as
when we read, “The god of this world (age), ” “Be not.Bible Readings. 229
conformed to this world (age), ” “The harvest. is the end
of the world (age), ” “The world to come, “ lit., the age,
or ages, to come.
I. Its Character. This world, then, is represented as
governed by principles that are not in harmony with the
revealed will of God ; for “the god of this age hath blinded
the minds of them which believe not” (2 Cor. 4. 4).
What can be expected from an age that has been blinded
by Satan to the glories of the risen Christ? “We know
that we are of God, ” said John, and that “the whole world
lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5. 19). When we mediate
on the fact “that every spirit that cofifesseth not that
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” (1 John
4. 3), but savours of the spirit of Antichrist, well may we
wonder and adore the God of Love, who gave His Son to
die for a world like this.
II. How this Character is Manifested. It is ex-pressed-1.
IN THE LUST OF THE FLESH. They that are after the
flesh-controlled by their earthly nature-do mind the
things of the flesh (Rom. 8. S), the things they can touch,
and taste, and boast of. The la& of the flesh is the anta-gonist
of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5. 24).
2. IN THE LUST OF THE EYE. Cravings for things which
minister to sight and the desire of the mind. This is seen
in the love of fashion and the greed of gain.
3. IN THE PRIDE OF LIFE. If the lust of the flesh is the
bud, the lust of the eye the blossom, then the pride of life
is the matured fruit of conceit and self-satisfaction.
Alienated from the life of God, such things are not of the
Fathw, but of the world (1 John 2. 16).
III. What is Our Relationship to this World.
1. DELIVERED FROM IT. “He gave Himself for our sins,.230 Handfuls on Purpose.
that He might rescue us from this present wicked age”
(Gal. 1. 4). Being rescued from otir s&s, the link of con-nection
with this evil age has been broken, and a new
centre of attraction formed. We love Him because He
first loved us. “They overcame the world who believe in
the Son of God” (I John 5. 5).
2. CRUCIFIED TO IT. “I glory in nothing except the
Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, upon which the world is
crucified unto me, and I am crucified to the world” (Gal.
6. 14). Here is a double crucifixion. “Our old man
(nature) is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might
be destroyed” (Rom. 6. 6), and when the body of sin,
that was subject to, and served the world, is destroyed,
then it also becomes to us a dead thing.
3. UNKNOWN BY IT. “Behold, we are the sons of God,
therefore the world knoweth us Izot, because it knew Him
not” (1 John 3. 1). G dl o iness separates from the world
and is foreign to it. “The world loves its OWN, but because
ye are not of the world, thMefore the world hateth you”
(John 15. 19). Jesus said, “Marvel not if the world hate
yoti, because it hated Me. ‘ * “Be not conformed to this
age” (Rom. 12. 2).
4. WITNESSING IN IT. “I pray not that Thou shouldest
take them out of the world, but that Thou shouldest keep
them from the evil. As Thou hast sent Me into the world,
even so have I also sent them i&o the world” (John 17. 18).
Believers are called out of the world into fellowship with
Himself, then gifted with His Spirit, are se& i&o it as
witnesses for Him and His saving Gospel (John 20. 21).
Now then we are “ambassadors for Christ to beseech men in
Christ’ s stead to be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5. 20).
5. VICTORS OVER IT. “Because “greater is He that is
in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4. 4). He
that is in the world is great. He has all the wisdom of a.Bible Readings. 231
fallen angel, all the venom of the serpent, all the ferocity
of the dragon, all the resources of Hell, and all the unclean-ness
and deceivableness of a sinful humanity in his favour.
But greater is He that is iti YOU, the Almighty Spirit of
God and the victorious Christ is with you. “Lo, I am
with you alway, even to the end of the age. ” This is the
victory that overcometh the world, even our faith (1
John 5. 4). “Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the
victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 8. 37).
WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?
THE Thessalonian Church had turned to God from idols
to serve the living God, and to “wait for His 30s for
Heave+z” (1 Thess. 1. 10). On the Great Day of Atone-ment
the High Priest went within the veil-not without
blood, and the congregation waited without looking for
his reappearing. Now Christ, our Great High Priest,
has gone within the veil by His own blood, and the Church
without is waiting and looking for His appearing according
to His promise (John 14. 3).
1. For His Son from Heaven. “Our citizenship is
in Heaven, fvom whetice also we look for the Saviour,
the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3. 20). We are not waiting
for death, nor for the Holy Spirit, who has already
been given; nor for the conversion of the world, before He
comes, for “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall if be
in the days when the Son of Man is revealed” (Luke 17.
30). Certainly the world was not converted before the
flood came.
2. For the Completion of Our Salvation. “He shall
appear the second time to make their salvation com-plete”
(Heb. 9. 28). Our salvation now, great as it is,
is but the foretaste of what is yet to come. We have been.232 Handfuls on Purpose.
saved from the penalty and power of sin, but not from its
presence. Suffering and sorrow are still associated with our
present condition. He who hath begun this good work
will perfect it in His day.
III. For the Redemption of the Body. “We look for
the Saviour, who shall change our mortal body that it
may be fashioned like unto His glorious body” (Phil. 3.
20, 21). This will indeed be “a new fashion” for the
redeemed. The transfigured soul, with a transfigured
body. It has been good to hr His Word; it will be better
to see Himself, but best of all to be made like Him. This
is the eternal life.
IV. For the Bridegroom of the Church. It was at
midnight when the cry was raised: “Behold the Bride-groom
cometh” (Matt. 25. 6). He is coming to receive
His Bride unto Himself (John 14. 3). She is a cold-hearted
bride who is not lovingly longing for the coming
of her betrothed. If He tarry, wait for Him. He is
faithful that hath promised. “Be ye also ready, for in
such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh”
(Matt. 24. 44).
V. For the Consolation of Israel. “Simon waited for
this, and the Holy Ghost was upon him” (Luke 2. 25).
But Israel was not consoled by the coming Jesus. They
hated Him, saying, “We will not have this man to reign
over us, ” and clamoured for His crucifixion. So Israel is
still unconsoled. But there shall come out of Zion their
Deliverer, and so all Israel shall be saved (Rom. 11. 26).
A saved nation will mean world-wide testimony and
blessing.
VI. For the Reward that is to be Ours at His
Coming. “Be like unto men that wait for their lord”
(Luke 12. 36). Not in idleness, but with girded loins
and burning lights, looking for the grace that is to be.Bible Readings. 233
brought wto yaw at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter
1. 13). “Lo, I come, and My reward is with Me, to give
to every man according to his works. ” “Therefore, let US
not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober”
(1 Thess. 5. 6). “Watch, therefore, for ye know not when
the Master of the House cometh” (Mark 13. 34).
VII. For the New Heavens and the New Earth.
“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new
heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelfeth righteousness”
(2 Peter 3. 13). Or, as this same apostle declared in his
great speech: “Even Jesus, whom the Heaven must
receive until the times of the recolzstittitkolz of all things”
(Acts 3. 21). These new conditions in the elements of the
heavens and in the principles prevailing on the earth, will
be perfectly congenial to righteousness. God’s testing
fire will only purify (2 Peter 3. 10). The new heavens and
the new earth will be made meet for His new creatures in
Christ Jesus. “Seeing then that all these things shall be
dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be.. . life
and godliness ? (2 Peter 3. 11). See that ye don’t fall
behind in this gift of waiting for the Coming (1 Cor. 1. 7).
THE BELIEVER’S PRESENT PRIVILEGES.
JOHN 14.
THESE words of our Lord, spoken at His last Passover,
contains a revelation of the precious privileges conferred
on His believing people. There is-I.
A Cure for Trouble. “Let not yozlr heart be
troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me” (v. 1).
It is possible to believe in the existence of God, and yet
know nothing of His power to heal heart-trouble. Jesus
says, “believe also in Me. I died to put away your sins.
VOL. x. l6.234 Handfuls on Purpose.
I rose again to give you peace. ” “Cast all your care upon
Him, for He careth for you. ” “Fear not, for I am with
you. ”
II. A Blessed Hope. “I go to prepare a place for you.
I will come again and -receive yozc unto Myself” (v. 3).
These words were spoken to the Church that then existed,
and are applicable to the Church that now is ; and will be
perfectly fulfilled as recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4. 17.
Jesus prayed for this. “Father, I will that thy also
whom Thou hast given me be with Me where I am: that
they may behold My glory” (John 17. 24). What an
outlook this is for hearts that may at times be troubled
because of the way.
III. A Vision of the Father. “Philip saith unto Him,
Lord, shew us the Father and it sufficeth us. ” Jesus .
answered : “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father”
(v. 9). The invisible Father of all has revealed Himself
in and through Jesus Christ the Son. The more we know
of Christ, the more we know of the Eternal Father. “GOD
hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, who is
the express image of His Person” (Heb. 1. 3). In Him the
pure in heart see God. Believe and thou shalt see,
IV. A Great Opportunity. “Whatsoever ye ask in
My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified
in. the Son” (v. 13). What a wide and effectual door this
is for believing prayer. “My Name” and the “Glory of
the Father. ” What a powerful plea I “I have chosen you
and ordained you.. . that whatsoever ye shall ask of the
Father in My Name, He may give it you” (John 15. 16).
How shall we escape poverty of soul and shameful defeat
if we neglect so great an opportunity?
V. A Personal Comforter. “I will pray the Father,
and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may
abide with you for ever” (v. 16). This Comforter, which.Bible Readings. 235
is the Holy Ghost, He shall tea& you all things” (v. 26).
He is the “Spirit of Truth” (v. 17). He helpeth our
infirmities (Rom. 8. 26). He sheds the love of God abroad
in our hearts (Rom. 5. 5). He makes us to abound in
hope (Rom. 15. 13). He anoints with power (John 2. 20).
Through us He testifies of Christ (John 15. 26). He is the
Source of all God-honouring fruit (Gal. 5. 22). He seals
the believing soul until the final redemption (Eph. 1. 13).
VI. A Double Assurance. “He that hath My com-mandments
and keepeth them, shall be loved of My Father,
and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him”
(v. 21). In the keeping of His word, the love of God is
perfected in the heart (1 John 2. 5). What comforting
assurance this is. Loved by the Father, loved by the Son,
who has promised to give us a growing manifestation of
Himself. Love delights to give. Christ gives us His
best when He vouchsafes to us a fuller revelation of
Himself. This is eternal life to know Him.
VII. An Abiding Bequest. “Peace I leave with you,
My $eace I give unto you. ” “Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid” (v. 27). What a
neglected heritage this is. “In the world ye shall have
tribulation, ” but ye need not have this tribulation in
“your heart, for in ME ye might have peace” (John 16. 33).
Then “let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which
also ye are called” (Cal. 3. 15). Called to a life of peace, as
well as of faith. And what a peace this is. “My peace. ”
“The peace of God which passeth all understanding shall
keel) your hearts and minds, through Jesus Christ” (Phil.
4. 7). “Peace, be still. ”
THE BELIEVER’ S THREEFOLD RELATIONSHIP.
JOHN 15.
THIS chapter is a continuation of our Lord’s last words
to His bewildered disciples, and reveals-.236 Handfuls on Purpose.
I. Our Relationship to Christ. Our union with
Him implies-1.
ONENESS OF LIFE. “I am the Vine, ye are the
branches” (v. 5). The life that is in the branch is the
same life that is in the vine. It is the sap of the vine that
worketh in the branch. So it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil.
2. 13).
2. ENTIRE DEPENDENCE. “Without the vine the branch
can do nothing, but wither and die” (v. 6). “If a man
abide nzot & Me, he shall become like a branch broken off
and withered. ” Fruitlessness in the Christian life is the
evidence of a broken relationship. Grapes will not grow
on a sapless branch. Paul knew the power of this inworking
Spirit. “I can do all things tltroz@z Christ which streng-theneth
me” (Phil. 4. 13). Being filled with His Spirit
is the prime condition of fruitbearing.
3. CO-OPERATION. “Herein is My Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit” (v. 8). The vine might say to
the branch : “Without me ye can do nothing. ” The branch
might also say to the vine: “Without me ye can do
nothing. ” But in united effort both can accomplish
their destined purpose. Without Christ the Church can
do nothing that will glorify the Father. But we dare not
say that without the Church Christ can do nothing, for
He could easily send legions of angels as heralds of the
Gospel ; but He hath chosen those redeemed by His Blood
and saved by His grace to be His witnesses. Herein lies
the Church’s responsibility.
II. Our Relationship to One Another.
1. ALL ONE IN CHRIST. The branches are all in the one
vine. “I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye
should go and bring forth fruit“ (v. 16). We are His
workmanship. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works.Bible Readings. 237
(Eph. 2. IO). Every single believer is a member of His
Body, and, as such, members one of another.
2. ONE IN LOVE. “Love one another as I have loved
you” (v. 12). This is Christ’s new commandment to His
new born people (John 13. 34). It was the message they
heard at ilte be&wing of their Christian life (1 John 3. 11).
Alas, that we are so slow to learn it. One may have gifts,
great wisdom, and faith; but without love, nothing
(1 Cor. 13. 2).
3. ONE IN WORK. We have but one Master, and one
purpose in life: that is, to bring forth fruit that shall
remain (v. 16). For this end He gave this gracious
promise : “Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My
Name, He may give it you” (v, 16).
III. Our Relationship to the World. Our position
in the world is one of-1.
SEPARATION. “Ye are +zot of the world, but I have
chosen you out of the world” (v. 19). Having been made
new creatures in Christ Jesus, we are now, i+z character,
strangers and foreigners in the world. Separated unto
God, and saved from the wrath that is coming upon a
world that “lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5. 19).
2. OPPOSITION. Because ye are not of the world, there-fore
the world hateth you (v. 19). This is the hatred
of Cain, who slew his brother because his own works
were evil and his brother’s righteous (1 John 3. 12).
The believer’s life is opposed to the spirit that is in the
world. He cannot hate ungodly men, but he can, and does,
resist all that savours of the Devil. To pray for our enemies
is Christ’s example of passive resistance. It is enough for
the disciple that he be as his Master (Matt. 10. 25).
3. WITNESSBEARING . “The Spirit shall testify of Me,
and ye also shall bear witness” (vv. 26, 27). We are His
witnesses, and so is also the Holy Ghost (Acts 5. 32). On.‘ 238 Handfuls on Purpose.
the testimony of these two witnesses shall His Word be
estabbshed. When His Word burns in our hearts like
“fire shut up in our bones, ” then, like Peter and John, we
will be constrained to say: “We cannot but speak the
things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4. 20). “Ye
are My witnesses. ” There is a woe unto those who hide
their light (1 Cor. 9. 16, 17).
THE BELIEVER’S EQUIPMENT.
JOHN 16.
THE Lord is here warning His disciples that times of trial
and suffering were before them. “These things have I
told you, that when the time shall come ye may remem-ber”
(w. l-4). But He aid not leave them with their
‘&row-filled hearts, ” without giving them many en-couraging
promises, which we may regard as their equip-ment
for life’s work. There was-I.
The Promise of a Comforter. “If I go not away,
the Comforter will not come unto you ; but if I depart I
will send Him unto you” (v. 7). He does not say, I will
sent it, but HIM. Christ never dishonours the Holy Spirit
by speaking of Him as a mere thing. As a companion, the
Holy Spirit was to be to them all that Christ had been.
This was abundantly proven after Pentecost. This is
what the Spirit can be to us in our times of suffering for
His Name. His invisible Presence is here as really as the
visible Presence of Christ is departed.
II. The Promise of Guidance and Teaching. “He
will guide you into all truth, and He will shew you thbtgs
to come” (w. 13, 14). John says that ye need not any
man teach you, for this anointing teacheth you all things
(1 John 2. 20-27). This is the Spirit that searcheth all
things (1 Cor. 2. 9, IO). Why should we not expect the
Holy Spirit to do His work ilt US just as effectively as.Bible Readings. 239
Christ has done His work for us? Don’t grieve the Spirit
by refusing His teaching regarding these “things to come. ”
III. The Promise of His Coming Again. “YOU
now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart
shall rejoice” (v. 22). This was literally fulfilled when He
rose from the dead. “Then were their hearts glad when
they saw the Lord. ” But is there not a wider fulfilment
awaiting for His suffering, sorrowing disciples in these
latter days? When He promised: “I will come again and
receive you unto Myself, that wltere I am, there ye may be
also” (John 14. 3).
IV. The Promise of Answered Prayer. “Whatso-ever
ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He will give
you; ask and ye shall receive that your joy may be full”
(vv. 23, 24). Having, therefore, brethren, such good and
sure promises, let us come with boldness into the holiest
by the Blood of Jesus and confidently make our requests
known (Heb. 10. 19). “Open thy mouth wide and I
will fill it” (Psa. 81. 10).
V. The Promise of Christ’ s Intercession. “1 will ’
pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself Zoweth
you” (w. 26, 27). What thanksgiving and confidence
this should bring to our hearts, that Christ is pleading for
us with the Father who loves us, What then in Heaven,
earth, or Hell can hinder His will being done in us ? Only
our own unbelief.
VI. The Promise of Peace. “These things have I
spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace” (v. 33).
He hath made peace by the Blood of His Cross. He hath
spoken peace by the power of His resurrection. This
peace is not of ourselves, not the result of anything we
can do. It is not conditioned by our circumstances. Not
affected by our disappointments or tribulations. The
world cannot give it nor take it away. It is iti Himself,.240 Handfuls on Purpose.
and all that He is to His own people. It is as real as
abiding and as eternal as He Himself is. “In Me ye shall
have peace. ”
, VII. The Promise of Victory. *“In the world ye
shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have over-come
the world” (v. 33). “All that will live godly in
Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3. 12).
But persecution, mockery, or death does not mean defeat,
for out of their tribulation they shall come with washed
robes (Rev. 7. 14). Nothing can “separate us from the
love of Christ, and where His love is, His power also is
there to make us more than conqzleroys” (Rom. 8. 35-37).
The powers of the world are impotent when the “Greater
is He that is in you” is with us (1 John 4. 4). Christ has
already overcome the world, and your life is hid with
Christ in God. To God be the thanks, who in Christ ever
heads our triumphal procession (2 Cor. 2. 14).
THE BELIEVER’ S RESPONSIBILITIES.
JOHN 17.
HERE we have what is emphatically “The Lord’s Prayer”
offered at the close of that solemn meeting with His
disciples, before He went out to face the last great storm
of human and diabolical hatred. The words are simple,
but the thoughts are perhaps the most profound in all
Scripture. They reveal many high and holy privileges
belonging to His own loved ones. But we wish to point
out some of the responsibilities that are ours in consequence
of our privileges. We have responsibilities-I.
As Those to Whom His Name has been Revealed.
“I have manifested Thy Name unto the men which Thou
gavest Me out of the world” (v. 6). Or as it might be read :
“I have revealed the perfections of Thy character to those
which Thou hast given Me. ” The character of that great
and holy NAME is seen in Exodus 34. 5-7. Through the.Bible Readings. 241
grace of Christ that Name has become the practical
experimce of every true believer. “My name is in Him ”
(Exod. 23. 21). What manner of persons, then, ought we
to be with such a possession ?
II. As Custodians of His Words. “I have given unto
them the words which Thou hast given Me” (v, 8). The
truths which the Father committed to the Son, the Son has
committed to us, who are His own. What a treasure this
is, and what a responsibility rests on us to pass on to
others what we by faith have received. How many are
burying this treasure in the grave of their own personal
interests. This Word of the Gospel never gets beyond their
own need. His words are the words of “eternal life. ”
Let your light so shine that others may see, and believe, and
glorify your Father.
III. As God-given Ones, for the Glory of His Son.
“I pray for them which Thou hast given Me, for they are
Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified ~FZ them”
(vv. 9, 10). If Christ is to be fully glorified in His people,
surely His redeemed ones must glorify Him while here as
witnesses for Him. As Paul said: “Christ shall be mag-nified
in my body, whether it be by life or by death”
(Phil. 1. 20). Ye see your calling, brethren, let us walk
worthily of it, for the glory of His Name.
IV. As Separated Ones. “They are not of the world,
ezlelz as I am not of the world; keep them from the evil one;
sanctijy them through Thy truth” (vv. 14-17). The Lord
further adds : “And for their sakes I consecrate Myself,
in order that they may become perfectly consecrated in
truth” (v. 19). The Lord set Himself apart for our sal-vation,
and expects us to set ourselves apart for His
service in the truth. Ye are not your own, therefore
glorify God in your body and spirit, which aye His.
V. As Sent Ones. “As Thou hast sent Me into the
world, even so have I also sent them into the world”.242 Handfuls on Purpose.
(v. IS). This commission was repeated after He rose from
the dead (John 20. 21). For what purpose did the Father
send Him ? Briefly, it was this: “I came down from
Heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that
sent Me” (John 6. 38). “As the Father sent Me, so have
I sent you. ” Not to do your own will, but the will of
Him that sent you, Herein lies our God-given privilege
and our God-given responsibility. Surely our motto
should be : “Thy will be done. ”
VI. As Brethren. Christ prayed “for them also
which shall believe on Him through their word. That
they all may be one, as the Father and the Son are, and
that they may be made perfect in one, that the world may
know that Thou hast sent Me” (w. 21-23). This union
is not limited to any ecclesiastical system, nor to any
religious creed or nation. In Christ there is neither Jew
nor Gentile; neither bond nor free, neither male nor
female ; but ye are all o#e its Christ Jesus (Gal. 3. 28).
All given by the same Father to the Son. All redeemed
by the same price. All quickened by the same Spirit.
All obedient to the same Word. All heirs of the same
inheritance, and their names all written in the same
“Book of Life. ” It is ours to kee$ this unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace (Gal. 4. 3).
VII. As His Eternal Companions. “Father, I will
that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with MC
where I am; that they may behold My glory” (v. 24).
What grace is this. “Where I am there shall also My
servant be” (John 12. 26). Servants sharing their Master’s
honour. ‘So shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess.
4. 17). By faith we company with Him now. He says:
“I have called you friends” (John 15. 15). Let nothing
mar your fellowship with Him. Remember, this is to be
for ever and ever. Amen..Bible Readings. 243
JOSHUA’ S CONQUEST.
JOSHUA 10. 7-14.
THE whole land of Canaan was the gift of God to His people
Israel, but they were slow to go in and possess. God is
ever more ready to give than we are to take-I.
The Work to be Done. Five kings of the Amorites,
with all their hosts, had encamped before Gideon, with
whom Joshua had lately made a league. They sent an
urgent message to him saying: ‘Slack not thy hand from
thy servants ; come up to us quickly and save us. ” As
soon as the Gideonites became the allies of Israel they
became the enemies of the Amorites. Joshua feels in
honour bound to help his weaker brethren to maintain
their stand against the common foe. They had enemies,
and so have we, with which compromise is impossible.
II. The Encouragement Given.-“Fear them not :
for I have delivered them into thy hand” (v. 8). So said
the Lord to Joshua, as he prepared himself for the battle.
Those who have purposed in their heart to do the will of
God may confidently expect the he@ of God. Everything
depends upon the attitude God takes towards our enter-prises,
whether they shall prosper or end in confusion
(Gen. 11, 4-8). His promise, “Lo, I am with you,” may
be claimed by every one who fights against all evil prin-ciples
and habits, which hinder souls from the enjoyment
of the gift of God’s grace.
III. The Method Adopted. “Joshua went up from
Gilgal all night, and came upon them suddenly” (v. 9).
He lost no time. Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as unto
the Lord. “Going up all night” meant some personal
sacrifice, but great victories in the Name of God are very
seldom won without this. Those who attempt great things
on the authority of the Divine Word know what it is to be
“a night and a day on the deep. ”.244 Handfuls on Purpose.
IV. The Weapons Used. There was, of course, the
sword, but our weapons are not carnal, but spiritual and
mighty, to the pulling down of the strongholds of Satan.
1. The sword of the SPIRIT is also our sword, which is
the “WORD OF GOD. ” If the Spirit has infallible con-fidence
in this double-edged blade as unbreakable, and
effective for the overcoming of the enemy and the estab-lishing
of the Kingdom of God, so well may we. They had
another weapon called “hailstones from Heaven. ” Those
who war against the revealed purposes of God have more
to reckon with than they dream of. This destructive
shower of hailstones were the arrows of the Almighty,
shot from the unerring bow of judgment (Isa. 30. 30).
The battalions of Heaven are on the side of those who
believe God’s Word and do His will (Job 38. 22, 23).
2. The next weapon brought into action was DARING
FA I TH. When Joshua said to the Lord in the sight of
Israel, “Sun, stand thou still upon Gideon, ” it was not
only an unprecedented, but, we would have thought, an
unimaginable, venture of faith. At that moment he
seemed to feel the presence of the Almighty so near and
real that “all things were possible to him that believeth. ”
There and then he asked a “great thing, and got it. ” It
was not demanded for his own sake, but for the fulfilment
of that commission given him by God.
3. All POWER in Heaven and on earth is still at the
disposal of those consecrated to His service (Matt. 28.
18-19). If need be, it was as easy for God to stop the whole
Solar system and start it again without the slightest
dislocation of any part, as it is for a railway driver to
stop his engine. It is of the nature of faith to expect
miracles, and when it is definitely exercised it is not dis-appointed.
The Lord still “hearkens unto the voice of a
man, ” and does memorable things for him (v. 14)..Handfuls on Purpose. 245
GOSPEL OUTLINES AND
SEED THOUGHTS.
THE ROOT OF THE MATTER.
J OB 19. 25-23.
I. What is the Root ?
1. Faith. “My Redeemer liveth. ”
2. Assurance. “I know that, ” etc.
II. How is Christ like a Root?
1. Because He is Indispensable to Lkfe.
2. Indespensable to fr&tfulness.
III, Where this Root should Be.
1. “In me, ” as a new principle.
2. “Found in me. ” Testimony.
INVITED TO CONFERENCE.
ISAIAH 1. 18.
1. The Invited. The rebellious (v. 2), thoughtless
(v. 3), burdened and corrupters (v. 4), sick (v. 5), diseased
(v. 6).
2. The Invitation. To “come, ” to “reason. ” This
reveals the division, condescension, and anxiety.
3. The Promise. “Though sins be as scarlet.. . be as
white as snow. ”
THIS MAN RECEIVETH SINNERS.
LUKE 15. 2.
1. Who? “This Man. ” The Man Christ Jesus.
2. Whom? “Sinners. ” Guilty, helpless.
3. How? Heartily, and just as they are.
4. When ? “Now. ” “Behold, now is the accepted
time. ”
5. Why ? Because He loves them and died for them..246 Handfuls on Purpose.
THE FORGIVING GOD.
ISAIAH 43. 25.
1. The Blessing Spoken Of. “Forgiveness. ”
2. The Persons Forgiven. “Sinners. ”
3. The Great Forgiver. “I, even I. ”
4. The Ground of Forgiveness. “For Mine own
Name’ s sake. ”
WITHOUT CHRIST.
EPHESIANS 2. 12.
To be without Christ is to be-1.
Without God. “God was in Christ” (2 Cor. 5. 19).
2. Without Life. “I am the Life” (John 14. 6).
3. Without Light. He is “The Light of the World. “.
4. Without Salvation. “None other name. ”
5. Without Promise. “All the promises are in Christ. ”
6. Without Hope. “Without hope in the world. ”
UNDER HIS WINGS.
MATTHEW 23. 37.
THESE words are suggestive, and imply-1.
2.
3.
4. 5.
6.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Danger. His-wings are needed:
Opportunity. His wings are spread.
Power. His wings are Almighty.
Compassion. His wings offered.
Salvation. His wings save.
Responsibility. Refusing the wings of His shelter
is to perish.
THE HOPE OF THE WORLD.
JOHN 12. 46, 47.
The Condition of the World. “In darkness. ”
The Character of Christ. “A Light. ”
The Sphere of His Shining. “In the world. ”
The Purpose of His Coming. “To save the world. ”
5. The Condition of Salvation. “Believeth on Me. ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts.
A WORD FOR ALL.
247
1 To the Unconverted, . . . . John 3. 7 2, To the Anxious Inquirer, . . John 1. 12
3. To the Doubting, . . . . 1 John 5. 12, 13 4. To the D e s p a i r i n g , . . . . Hebrews 7. 25
5. To the Young Convert, . . . . 1 Peter 2. 2
6. To the Aged Christian, . . . , Isaiah 46. 4
7. To the Weary Worker, ,. 2 Cor. 12. 9
REPENTANCE.
THE law does not demand it, because it cannot offer
forgiveness.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Christ Declared the Need of It, . . Matt. 4. 17
Christ Exalted to Give It, . . Acts 5. 31
Offered in His Name, . . Luke 24. 17
Commanded by God, . . : : Acts 17. 30
Produced by the Goodness of God, Rom. 2. 4
Necessary to Forgiveness, . . Acts 3. 19
Accompanied with Faith, Mark 1. 15
Joy in Heaven Over It, . . 1: Luke 15. 10
May be Sought Too Late, . , Heb. 12. 17
1.
2.
3.
4.
1.
2.
THE TIME IS SHORT.
1 CORINTHIANS 7. 29.
For Study: Be Decided, . . . . 1 Kgs. 18. 21
For Salvation: Be Instant, . . 2 Cor. 6. 2
For Service: Be Diligent, . . . . Col. 3. 23
For Suffering : Be Patient, . . Jas. 5, 7
ETERNITY.
ISAIAH 57. 15.
The Soul (spirit) has been made for
Eternity, . . . . . . . . Gen. 2. 7
Life is the seed-time of Eternity, Gal. 6. 7,8.248 Handfuls on Purpose.
3. Time is given to prepare for Eternity, 2 Cor. 6. 2
4. Death is the gate of Eternity, . . Luke lo. 22
5. No Redemption in Eternity, . . Luke 16. 26
6. You may be Saved for Eternity, . . Heb. 9. 12
7. Where will you spend Eternity?
1.
2.
3.
IS THE YOUNG MAN SAFE?
2 SAMUEL 18. 32.
What a Young Man may be, and not be Safe.
Good looking. As Absalom was.
Highly Gifted. So was Absalom.
Greatly Esteemed. So was Absalom.
What Every Young Man should be-Safe.
Think of his Capabilities.
Think of his Opportunities.
Think of his Temptations and Dangers.
What Every Young Man may be-Safe.
The Love of God declares it, , . John 3. 16
The Atonement of Christ assures it, . . 1 John 2. 2
The Word of the Gospel invites it, . , Rom. 10. 13
WONDERFUL.
ISAIAH 9. 6.
1. A Wonderful Gift. “A child.. . a Son. ” John 3. 16
2. A Wonderful Possession. “Unto tis.. . born.. . Unto
us givelz. ”
3. A Wonderful Name. Called-The
Wonderful Counsellor, . . Wisdom.
The Mighty God, . . . . . . Power.
The Father of Eternity (R. v., margin), Eternal.
The Prince of Peace, , . . . Grace.
4. A Wonderful Promise.
“The Government shall be upon
His shoulders, ” , . . . . . King..Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 249
IS IT NOTHING TO YOU?
LAMENTATIONS 1. 11, 12.
THINK of these words as coming from the lips of the
rejected Son of God.
1. An Awful Confession. “I am become vile. ”
Think of who He is, and why He became vile.
2. An Urgent Appeal to God. “See, 0 Lord, and
consider. ” Consider who I am: “Thy Son. ” Consider
for whom I am vile (Gal. 3. 13).
3. A Pathetic Appeal to Men. “Ye that pass by:
behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow. ”
Any sorrow so deep, so undeserved, so effective.
4. A Mournful Entreaty. “Is it nothing to you? ”
THE AUTHOR OF SALVATION.
HEBREWS 2. lo-11 (R.v.).
1. The Purpose of God. “To bring many into glory. ”
2. The Character of those He brings. “Sons. ”
3. The Method. “Through One made perfect as a
Saviour. ”
4. How Christ was Perfected as a Saviour. “Through
suffering. ”
5. The God-becoming Act. “It became H IM. ” It
was just like Him.
6. The Blessed Result. “He that sanctifieth and they who
are sanctified all of ONE. ” Oneness in nature and purpose.
A GOOD STRONGHOLD.
NAHUM 1. 7.
1. What the Lord is in Himself. “Good. ”
2. What He is to His People, “A Stronghold. ”
3. When He is a Stronghold. “In the day of trouble. ”
4. To whomHe is a Stronghold. “Them that trust Him.”
5. Consolation for them that trust Him. “He knoweth
them. ” VOL. x. 17.250 Handfuls on Purpose.
ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS.
JEREMIAH 6. 16.
1. Why ask for the Old Paths ? Because the New ones
are delusive and deceptive (Gal. 1. 8).
2. What are the Old Paths? Those revealed in God’s
Word, in which “holy men of old” walked.
3. Why should we walk the Old Paths ? Because there
the pilgrims experience-The
Blood of Christ to Justify.
The Love of God to Satisfy.
The Spirit of Power to Sanctify.
“NO MAN BUT BY ME. ”
JOHN 14. 6.
To come to the Father three things are absolutely needed.
We need-1.
The Way. “I am the Way. No man cometh unto
the Father but by ME. ”
2. The Truth. “I am the Truth.. .No man cometh
unto the Father but by ME. ”
3. The Life. “I am the Life.. . No man cometh unto the
Father but by ME. ” “There is One Mediator. ”
PROVOKING GOD.
HEBREWS 3. 15.
1. A Privilege. “Hear ye His voice. ”
2. A Warning. “Harden not your hearts. ”
3. An Example. “As in the provocation” (Num.
14. l-11). Unbelief.
4. A Responsibility. “If ye will. ”
5. An Opportunity. “While it is said, To-day. ”
CRIES TO CHRIST IN MATTHEW.
1. The Cry of Despair, . . . ,_. . . . 8. 29
2. The Cry of Need, . . . . . ,_. . . 9. 27.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 251
3. The Cry of Fear, . . . . , . . . 14. 26
4. The Cry of Danger, . . .., . . . . 14. 30
5. The Cry of Intercession, . . . . . . 15. 22
6. The Cry of Importunity, . . . . . . 20. 31
7. The Cry of Delight, . . . . . . . . 21. 9
8. The Cry of Derision, . . _. ._. 27. 23
HE IS ABLE.
HEBREWS 7. 27.
1. He is Able to Save.
2. He is Able to Save those that come.
3. He is Able to Save those that come unto God.
4. He is Able to Save those that come unto God by
Jesus Christ.
5. He is Able to Save them to the uttermost.
6. He is Able to Save them to the uttermost because
He ever liveth.
THE CLEANSING FOUNTAIN.
ZECHARIAH 13. 1.
1. What was Opened ? “A Fountain. ” Dee@ as
Eternity. Full as the Heart of God. Free as the air you
breathe.
2. When it was Opened. “In that day. ” The day
that Christ was “pierced” (12. 10). The day that man
committed his greatest sin in “killing the Prince of Life. ”
3. Why it was Opened. “For silz and udeanness. ”
Guilt and pollution. “Ho, every one that thirsteth,
come. ‘ *
1. Universalism, . . . .
,2. Free Thought, . . . . .
3. General Mercy of God, . .
4. General Morality, . . –
REFUGES OF LIES.
ISAIAH 28. 17.
. . Mark 16. 16
. . Isa. 55. 7, 8
. . 2 Thess. 1. 7-9
._. Heb. 11. 6.252
5.
6.
7.
Handfuls on Purpose.
Doing the Best, . . . . . . Rom. 3. 19, 20
General Belief, . . . . . . John 3. 36
A Good Heart, . . . . . . . John3.5
THE TRIAL OF FAITH.
1 PETER 1. 7.
1. What is to be Tried? Your faith? Some have
“no faith. ” Some have “little faith. ” Some have “great
faith. ”
2. How is Faith Tried ? Our faith may be tried-Like
Job’s, by prolonged adversity.
Like Abraham’s, by a call to sacrifice.
Like Joseph’s, by a temptation to sin.
Like Daniel’s, by evil workers. ’
3. Why is Faith Tried ? Because, like silver and gold,
it becomes more precious (2 Peter 1. 1). Because it makes
it more fruitfd. “Praise and honour and glory. ”
FAITH.
MARK 11. 22.
1. The Nature of Faith, . . . . Heb. 11. 1
2. The Object of Faith, . . . . “God. ”
3. The Ground of Faith. What the
“Scriptures hath said, ” . . . . John 7. 33
4. The Need of Faith, . . . . . . Heb. 11. 6
5. The Example of Faith, . . . . Mark 14. 16
6. The Results of Faith, ._. . . Heb. 11.
PLENTY FOR THE PENNILESS.
ISAIAH 55. 1-3.
1. Foolishness Exhibited. “S+zdilzg for that which
is not bread.. . Labouring for that which satisfieth not. ”
2. Counsel Offered. “Hearken unto ME. ” “Eat
that which is good, ” etc..Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 253
3. Provision Made. Waters to cleanse. Wine to
refresh. Milk to nourish.
4. Invitation Given. To the t%rsty. To the penni-less
: “He that hath no money. ”
WHAT SHALL THE END BE?
1 PETER 4. 17.
1. What is the Gospel of God ? It is the good tidings
of Divine love, mercy, and power seeking to save.
2. What is it to Obey the Cospel? It is to believe
its message, accept its offer, and follow its teaching.
3. What shall the end be of those who obey not ?
The end will be destruction (2 Thess. 1. 8).
SIN.
1 JOHN 3. 4 (R.v. ).
1. Its Character. Pollution (Isa. I), rebellion (Eph.
2. 2), bondage (Rom. 5. 21; 6. 17), death (Eph. 2. 1).
2. Its Course. (Rom. 5. 12; Gal. 3. 22).
3. Its Curse (Rom. 6. 23). Ground cursed.
4. Its Cure (2 Cor. 5. 21; Gal. 3. 13).
THE SALVATION OF GOD.
2 TIMOTHY 1. S-10.
THIS is the testimony of a prisoner for Christ, of the great
salvation.
1. It is “according to the Power of God” (v. 8).
2. It is “Given us in Christ Jesus. ”
3. It is “Not according to our works. ”
4. It is “According to His own purpose and grace. ”
5, It is “Now made manifest by the Appearing of
our Saviozlr Jesus Christ. ”
6. It implies the “Abolishing of death, ”
7. It assures “Life and Immortality. ”.254 Handfuls on Purpose.
WHAT OF THE NIGHT?
ISAIAH 21. 11, 12.
1. 'TO Whom the Call Came. “Watchman. ”
2. The Question Asked. “What of the night ? ”
Night of sin and the life of godlessness. The night of
sorrow, suffering, and testimony.
3. The Answer Given. To two classes.
The Morrting Cometh. Morning of eternal day.
The Night Cometh. The night of eternal doom.
4. The Advice Offered. “Inquire, return, come. ”
FEARFUL THINKING.
“AND when he thought thereon, he wept” (Matt. 14. 72).
We may Iearn from this-1.
That it is a great privilege to hear the words of
Jesus. Peter had heard something worth thinking about.
2. That circumstances may call to mind the words
of Jesus. Cock crowing. Sin remembered. “He thought
thereon”-on his sin, on his broken promise (v. 29), the
Person denied.
3. That serious thought is sure to have some definite
result-He
went out (Matt. 26. 75). Separation.
He wept. Conscience aroused. Heart melted.
Contrition.
4. That such mourners are sure to be comforted.
“He is risen. . . tell Peter” (Mark 16. 6, 7). Restoration.
“THE WATERS PREVAILED. ”
GENESIS 7. 18: MATTHEW 24. 37-39.
THE waters of judgment shall ultimately prevail against
all ungodliness. See here an example of-1.
The waters prevailing over their unbelief..Gospel Outlines and Seed Thought-s. 255
2. The waters prevailing over all their indifference.
3. The waters prevailing over all their pleasures.
4. The waters prevailing over all their efforts to save
themselves.
A STRANGE CURE.
EXODUS 15. 23-25.
1. A Sad Discovery. “The waters were bitter. ”
2. An Appointed Remedy. “The Lord showed him
a tree. ” Cross.
3. A Perfect Cure. “When cast in, the waters made
sweet. ”
THE MEETING PLACE.
EXODUS 25. 22.
1. Where? “At the Mercy Seat. ” The place where
God rests in mercy. The Cross.
2. Why? Under the “Mercy Seat” was the “Testi-mony-
the Law. ” Atonement.
3. Whom? “I will meet with thee. ” Mercy.
4. How? “1 will cowwzww with thee there. ” Fellow-ship.
MANASSEH’S CONVERSION.
2 CHRONICLES 33. 1-13.
1. He was Honoured. Son of a godly man.
2. He Sinned. “Did evil in sight of the Lord” (v. 2).
3. He was Warned. “Lord spake to Manasseh” (v. 10).
4. He was Humbled. “Bound with fetters” (v. 11).
5. He Prayed (v. 12).
6. He was Saved. “The Lord heard his supplication
and brought him.. . into his kingdom” (v. 13)..256 . Handfuls on Purpose.
PRAISE THE LORD.
PSALM 147. l-6.
PRAISE Him for His wonderful works of grace.
1. He Gathereth the Outcasts.
2. He Healeth the Broken-hearted.
3. He Bindeth up Wounds.
4. He Numbereth the Stars.
5. He Galleth them by Names.
6. He Lifteth Up the Meek.
7. He Casteth Down the Wicked.
LIFE AND ABUNDANCE.
JOHN 10. 10.
1. A Great Need; “Life. ” “Alienated from the
life of God. ”
2. A Great Offer. “I am come that ye might have
life in abundance. ”
(1) A Life of FREEDOM from sin and
death,
(2) A Life that is ‘&VINE: : :
. . John 8. 32
. . 2Peter 1. 4
(3) A Life that is ETERNAL, . . . . John 10. 28
(4) A Life that is in ABUNDANCE , . . R. v., margin
A SOUL-SAVING SIGHT.
HEBREWS 2. 9, 10.
“BUT we see Jesus. ” We see Jesus-1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Humbling Himself. “Made lower than the angels. ”
Suffering death.
Suffering death, by the grace of God.
Suffering death for every man.
Crowned with glory and honour.
Bringing many sons unto glory.
Perfected as a Saviour through sufferings..Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 257
GOODNESS AND SEVERITY,
ROMANS 11. 19-22
GOD is Good, but God is also Severe. God is Love, but
God is also Light.
1. The Severity of God. He severs from Himself the
unbelieving and the defiled (v. 17).
2. The Goodness of God, “Toward thee goodness’ ”
because you have believed Him (v. 22).
3. The Solemn Lesson Taught.
(1) That UNBELIEF S EVERS from the goodness of
God (v. 20; Heb. 3. 19).
(2) That salvation is only by THE GRACE OF GOD. The
goodvaess of God can never be merited by man.
(3) That FAITH UNITES to the goodness of God (v. 23).
(4) That we STAND only by faith (v. 20).
(5) That God is able and willing to save ALL THAT
BELIEVE (v. 23).
THE SAVIOUR’S LAMENT.
LWKE 13. 34.
THIS lament was over a gztilty city, and reveals-1.
A Gracious Purpose. Not judgment, but salva-tion.
“As a hen gathereth. ”
2. Infinite Mercy. Gathered under His wirgs. Per-secutors,
murderers, etc.
3. Almighty Power. “How often would I. ”
4. Longsuffering Compassion. “How uffert. ”
5. Heart – Rending Anguish. “0 Jerusalem,
Jerusalem. ”
6. Wilful Resistance. “But ye would not. ”
7. Wounded Love. “Your house is left to you desolate”.258 Handfuls on Purpose,
WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?
ACTS 26. 19-28. ONE who has-1.
Seen a Vision. “I was not disobedient to the
heavedy vision. ”
2. Received a Commission. “To open eyes and to
turn from darkness to light. ”
3. Performed a Consecration. “1 was not disobe-dient.

THE HEART
WHAT is meant by it ? The seat of the affections and the
centre of the moral man.
1. Its Inherent Character. “Deceitful
and wicked, ” . . . . . . . Jer. 17. 9
2. Its Natural Outcome. “Evil con-tinually,
” . .
3. What should be Done *Aith iii “&
Gen. 6. 5
son, give me thine heart, ” . . . . Prov. 23. 26
4. What God can Do with it. Remove
and renew, . . . , . . . . Ezek. 11. 19
5. The Purpose of the New Heart. “To
know ME, ” . . . . ._. . . Jer. 24. 7
6. The Vision of the New Heart. “See God, ” . . . . . . . . . Matt. 5. 8
7 The Privilege of the True Hearted.
Nearness, full assurance, worship, Heb. 10. 22
GUT IT DOWN: LET IT ALONE.
LUKE 13. 7, 8.
THIS may be regarded as the language of justice and mercy,
of law and grace. Note-1.
Some Reasons why it Should be Cut Down.
(1) It was the EASIEST WAY of getting rid of it..Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 259 .
(2) It had had SUFFICIENT TIME for trial.
(3) It showed NO SIGNS of improvement.
(4) It had never done ANY GOOD.
(5) It was filling a place that might be BETTER
OCCUPIED by another.
(6) It was having a BAD INFLUENCE on others. A
“cumberer. ”
2. Some Reasons why it Should be Let Alone.
What are they ? Well, WHAT ARE THEY ?
NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM.
MARK 12. 34.
1. What is the Kingdom of God ? It is not meat and
drink-Material things. It is “Righteousness, peace,
joy in the Holy Ghost. ”
2. What is it to be Not Far from the Kingdom ?
Many are not far from the kingdom-(
1) As regards their KNOWLEDGE . Young Ruler.
(2) As regards their MORALS. Pharisees.
(3) As regards their INTENTIONS . Foolish Virgins. .
3. The Position of. Those Not Far from It. Still
ozttside. Ill. Cities of Refuge. Outside God’s righteous-ness,
God’s peace, and God’s joy.
THE SUFFERER AND HIS SEED,
ISAIAH 53. 10-12.
1. The Sin. “An Offering for silz. T
2. The Substitute. “Him. ”
3, The Sacrifice. “His soul. ”
4. The Saved. “His seed. ”
5. The Success. “Prosper in His hands. ”
6. The Satisfaction. “See of the travail of His soul. ”
7. The Spoil. Divided (v. 12)..260 Handfuls on Purpose.
WITHOUT ME.
JOHN 15. 5.
WITHOUT Christ a man is-1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
1.
2.
3.
4.
In danger, like a lost sheep, ._. Luke 15. 4-6
As black as an Ethiopian, . . Jer. 13. 23
As wretched as a forsaken infant, Ezek. 16. 5-8
As loathsome as a leper, , . . . Mark 1. 43
As powerless for good as a corrupt
tree, . . . . . . . . Matt. 7. 18
As poor as a bankrupt, . . . . Matt. 18. 24-27
As hopeless as a severed branch, John 15. 5
SEEK YE THE LORD.
ISAIAH 55. 6, 7.
The Object to be sought. “The Lord. ”
How the Lord is to be Found. “Seek. ”
Some Encouragements to seek. He may be found,
He is near.
The Time to seek. “While. ”
The Manner. “Forsaking his way-thoughts. ”
The Blessings found in the Lord. “Mercy, Pardon. ”
SPIRITirAL LIFE.
EPHESIANS 2. 1.
The Need of it. “Dead. ”
The Nature of it. “Quickened. ”
The Author of it. “You hath HE quickened. ”
The Joy of it. Newness of life.
TEMPORARY RELIGION.
HOSEA 6. 4. THEY had-1.
A Sense of need. “He hath torn. ”
2. A Desire to be saved. “Come, let us. ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 261
3. A Prospect of new life. “After.. . we shall live. ”
4. A Knowledge of the way (v. 3).
5. A Belief in His mercy (v. 3, Z.C.).
Yet all was as a morning cloud.
SALVATION.
TITUS 2. 11-14.
1. Its Need. “Ungodliness and worldly lusts ”
2. Its Source. “The grace of God. ”
3. Its Extent. “To all men. ”
4. Its Fulness. There is in it-(
1) SUBSTITUTION . “He gave Himself for US. ”
(2) REDEMPTION. “That He might redeem us from
all iniquity. ”
(3) PURITY. “Purify unto Himself. “
(4) SERVICE. “Zealous of good works. ”
(5) HOPE. “Looking for that blessed hope, ” etc.
FREEDOM.
JOHN 8. 36.
1. The Privilege spoken of. “Make you free. ” What
from ?
2. The Nature of this freedom. “Free i&e&. ” What
for ?
3. The Character of the Deliverer. “If the .%a, ”
What by?
SEVEN WONDERS.
TITUS 2. 11-14.
1. A Wonderful Exhibition. “The grace of God hath
appeared. ”
2. A Wonderful Character. “The great God and
our Saviour. ”
3. A Wonderful Gift. “Gave Himself. ”
4. A Wonderful Work. “Redeem.. . purify. ”.262 Handfuls on Purpose.
5. A Wonderful People. “A peculiar people. ”
6. A Wonderful Life. “Soberly, righteously, and
Godly. ”
7. A Wonderful Prospect. “Looking for the glorious
appearing of the great God our Saviour. ”
HIS WORK IS PERFECT.
DEUTERONOMY 32. 4.
THIS can be proved by testing it-1.
As seen in Creation.
2. As seen in Revelation.
3. As seen in Redemption.
4. As seen in Salvation.
5. As seen in Providence (with regard to His own
people) (Rom. 8. 28).
THINGS WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN.
HEBREWS 12. 27.
I. Things which Have Been Shaken.
1. The Opinions of Men.
2. The Kingdoms of this World.
II. Things which Will be Shaken.
1. False Foundations (Matt. 7. 27).
2. Physical Bodies.
3. Tombs of the Dead.
III. Things which Cannot be Shaken.
1. The Word of God.
2. The Foundation of Christ.
3. The Kingdom of God.
4. The Hope of the Christian.
WHY WILL YE DIE ?
EZEKIEL 33. 11.
1. His Displeasure at it. “I have no pleasure in the
death of the wicked. ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 263
2. His Pleasure in it. “But that the wicked turn
from his way and live. ”
3. His Affirmation about it. “As I live, saith the
Lord. ”
4. His Exhortation against it. “Turn ye, turn ye. ”
5. His Question regarding it. “Why will ye die 7 ”
HE DIED FOR US.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
1. That He might deliver us from all
iniquity, . , . . . .
2. That He might bring us to God,
3. That He might deliver us from this
present evil world, . . . ,
4. That we might receive the adop-tion
of sons, ._. . . . . . Gal. 4 5
THE WILD ASS.
Man, born like the wild ass, . .
Man lost like the asses of Kish, . .
Man snuffeth up wind (vanity) like
the wild ass, . . . . . ,
Man, like the wild ass, used to the
wilderness, . . . . . .
Man, like the ass, may be redeemed,
Man, like the ass, may have his mouth
opened by God, . . . . . .
Marry, like the ass, may be used by
the Lord, . . . , . . . .
Many, like the ass, may know his
Master’s crib (Bible), . . . .
Man’s jaw bone, like the asses’, may
be a mighty weapon of victory, . . .
Job 11. 12
1 Sam. 9. 3
Jer. 14. 6
Jer. 2. 24
Exod. 13. 13
Num. 22. 28
Matt. 21. 3
Isa. 1. 3
Judg. 15. 16
Titus 2. 14
1 Peter 3. 18
Gal. 1. 4.264 Handfuls on Purpose.
YE MAY KNOW.
1 JOHN 5. 13.
IN this Epistle there are many things that we know.
We know-1.
That our sins are forgiven, . . . . 3. 5
2. That we have passed from death unto life, 3. 14
3. That we are of the Truth, . . . . . . 3. 19
4. That He is in US , . . . . . . . . 4. 13
5 That we have eternal life, . . . . 5. 13
6. That He answers prayer, . . . . 5 15
7. That we have a new nature, . . R.V., 5. 18
23. That the whole world lieth in wickedness, 5. 19
9. That we have this knowledge from God, 5. 20
10. That we shall be like Him, . . . . 3. 2
THREEFOLD REST.
ISAIAH 14. 3.
I. The Need. “Bondage wherein thou wast made
to serve. ” Slavery.
II. The Blessing. “Rest. ”
1. Rest from thy “Sorrow. ”
2. Rest from thy “Fear. “
3. Rest from thy “Bondage. ”
III. The Blesser. “The Lord shall give. ”
“Come unto Me” (Matt. 11. 28).
FIND ME-FIND LIFE.
PROVERBS 8. 34-36.
1. A Proclamation. “Whoso findeth Me”-(
1) Findeth LIFE, and
(2) Shall obtain FAVOUR of the Lord. Satisfaction.
2. A Condition. “Hear, watch, wait. ”
3. A Warning. “He that sinneth against Me, wrongeth
his OWN soul. ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 265
THE SURETY.
PROVERBS 11. 1.5.
“HE that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it. ”
1. The Surety, . . , . . , . . The Christ.
2. The Stranger. . . . . . . The Sinner.
3. The Smarting, . . . . . . The Cross.
THE GRACE OF GOD.
TITUS 2. 11, 12.
1. What the Grace of God Is. It is not Law. It
has nothing to do with human merit. It is the unmerited
favour of God, in Almighty force.
2. What the Grace of God Does. It brings salvation.
From the uttermost to the uttermost.
3. To Whom this Grace of God Appears. “To all
men. “ Not to devils, but to all men, for that all have
sinned.
4. What this Grace of God Teaches. To deny
ungodliness and worldly lusts. To live soberly, right-eously,
and godly.
LIGHT FROM GOD.
JOHN 12. 35, 36.
1. The Nature of this Light. Christ Himself. “I am
come a Light into the world” (v. 46).
2. The Evidence of being Without the Light. “He
that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. ”
3. How this Light is to be Enjoyed. “Believe in the
Light. ” Believe Him.
4. The Possibility of Losing this Light. “While ye
have light, believe in it. ”
GOULD NOT THIS MAN?
JOHN 11. 37.
THERE are many things Christ could not do, because He
would not VOL. x. 18.266 Handfuls on Purpose.
1. Could He not have prevented the Fall of Man ?
Could, but did not.
2. Could He not destroy the Devil, as well as his
works ? Could, but did not.
3. Could He not save men without suffering for them ?
Could, but did not.
4. Could He not save men against their wills ? Could,
but will not.
5. Could He not bless us without faith and prayer?
Could, but will not.
6. Could He not deliver from the possibility of sinning ?
Could, but does not.
THREE GREAT NECESSITIES.
LUKE 24. 46-49.
1. The Necessity laid upon the Saviour. “TO stiffw
and to rise from the dead, ”
2. The Necessity laid upon the Sinner. “Repentance. ”
3. The Necessity laid upon the Servant. “Witness. ”
ATONEMENT.
2 CORINTHIANS 5. 14, 15.
1. Its Nature. “He died. ”
2. Its Extent. “He died for all. ‘ *
3. Its Need. “Then were all dead. ”
4. Its Purpose.
(1) To Secure Life. “They which live. ”
(2) To Secure a Consecrated Life. “Should not hence-forth
live unto themselves, but unto Him. ”
BEHOLD THE MAN!
JOHN 19. 5.
1. The God-sent Man. John 3. 16.
2. The Sinless Man. “Which of you convinceth Me
of sin ? ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 267
3. Thk Sympathetic Man. “Wept over Jerusalem. ”
4. The Silent Man. “Answered him (Pilate) nothing. ”
5. The Suffering Man. John 19. 5.
6. The Saving Man. “Came to seek and to save”
(Acts 15. 11).
THE LAMB OF GOD.
JOHN 1. 36, 37.
1. The Testimony of John. “Behold. ” A new
Revelation.
2. The Character of Christ. “Lamb of God. ” He
belonged to God ; was given by God as a Sacrifice to God.
3. The Mission of Christ. “Take away the sin of the
world” (v. 29).
4. The Result of Faith. “Followed Jesus. ”
SECRET SINS.
PSALM 19. 12.
BEWARE of living two lives-the secret and the public, the
hidden and the revealed.
1. The Burden of this Prayer. Secret faults. Secret
acts, thoughts, feelings.
2. The Purpose of this Prayer. “Cleansing. ” With-out
holiness no man seeth the Lord.
3. To Whom this Prayer was Made. “Thou. ” He
looketh upon the heart.
4. The Personality of It. “Cleanse Thou me. ” Thou,
me, with the cleansing Blood between (1 John 1. 7).
SOMETHING TO GLORY IN.
JEREMIAH 9. 23-24.
To glory in anything is to make it the chief delight.
I.. Some Things Men Glory In.
1. WISDOM. “Let not the wise glory in their wisdom. ”.268 Handfuls on Purpose.
2. POWER. “Neither let the mighty glog in his
might. ”
3. WEALTH. “Let not the rich glory in his riches. ”
II. Some Things Worth Glorying In.
1. THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. “Let him that glorieth,
glory in this, that he knoweth Me. ”
2 The CHARACTER OF GOD. “Loving, Just, Righteous. ”
3. The WORD OF GOD. “In these things I delight,
saith the Lord. ”
1. Who?
2. What?
3. Why?
A
AN AWFUL TURNING.
PSALM 9. 17.
“The wicked. ”
“Turned into Hell. ”
Because they “Forget God. u
GREAT DELIVERANCE.
PSALM 18. 16-20.
I. The Deliverer. See verse 2.
II. The Deliverance.
1. It was DIVINE. “He sent from above. ”
2, It was PERSONAL. “He took me. ”
3. It was COMPLETE. “He drew me out. ”
4. It was NEEDED. “Enemies too strong for me. ”
5. It was GRACIOUS. “Because He delighted in me. ”
6. It was BLESSED. “He brought me into a large
place” (v. 19).
“I AM THE DOOR. ”
JOHN 10. 9.
1. The Blessing. Salvation. “Shall be saved. ”
2. The Way. “By Me. ”
3. The Condition. “Enter in. ”
4. The Offer. “If any man. ”
5. The Proepect. “Shall go in and out and find
pasture. ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 269
SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS
EPHESIANS 1. 3.
1. Their Character. “Spiritual. ”
2. Their Source. “In Christ. ”
3. Their Greatness “AZZ spiritual blessings. ”
4. Their Giver. “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. ”
5. Their Effect. “Blessed be God,. . who has blessed us”
A CRY FOR THE AGES.
JOHN 7. 37, 33.
THIS cry of Christ is a challenge to the ages. It is the
cry of-1.
Almighty Fulness. “Come unto ME. ”
2. Infinite Compassion. “If any man. ”
3. Tenderest Pity. “If any man tlzivst. ”
4. Pressing Invitation. “Let him come unto Me. ”
5. Assuring Promise. “Out of Him shall flow rivers
of living water. ”
“BEHOLD MY FEET.”
LUKE 24. 39.
Hrs feet are suggestive of-1.
Suffering “They pierced My feet” (Psa. 22. 16).
2. Mercy. “She stood at His feet weeping” (Luke 7.38).
3. Power. “Lame, blind.. .cast at Jesus’ feet, and
He healed them all” (Matt. 15. 30).
4. Rest. “Sitting at the feet of Jesus…in his right
mind ” (Luke 8. 35).
5. Hope. “She came and fell at His feet” (Mark 7. 25;
John 11. 32).
6. Teaching. “Mary sat at His feet” (Luke 10. 39).
7. Comfort. “Why are ye troubled ?. . .Behold My
feet” (Luke 24 38, 39)..270 Handfuls on Purpose.
8. Service. “Mary anointed the feet of Jesus.. . house
filled” (John 12. 3).
9. Worship. “They held Him by the feet and wor-shipped
Him” (Matt. 28. 9).
10. victory. “Thou hast put all things under His
feet” (Heb. 2. 8).
SALVATION CERTAINTIES.
2 TIMOTHY 1. 12.
1. Revelation. “I know Him. " “Jesus Christ, who
hath abolished death” (v. 11).
2. Faith. “I have believed. “
3. Surrender. “I have committed.
4. Assurance. “I am persuaded. ”
5, Confidence. “HE is able. ”
6. Experience. “I know. ”
7. Testimony. “I am not ashamed
AN UNFAILING REFUGE.
PROVERBS 18. 10.
1. Its Nature. “The Name of the Lord. ” His Name
is His character.
2. Its Strength. “A strong tower. ”
3. Its Acceptance. “Righteous runneth into it and
are safe-set aloft” (mar&). The righteous are the rigkt-&
laded.
THE BLOOD THAT SPEAKETH.
HEBREWS 12. 24.
THE blood of Abel speaks of vengeance (Gen. 4. 10). The
Blood of Christ of better things. It speaks of-1.
An Eternal Purpose, . . Rev. 13. 8
2. Forgiveness, . . . . : : co1 1. 14.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 271
3. Cleansing, . . . , . . 1 John 1. 7
4. Liberty, . . . , . . : : Heb. 10. 19
5. Peace, . . . . . . . . Col.1.20
6. Heaven, , , . . , . , , Rev. 7. 14, 15
GRACE ALWAYS ALL SUFFICIENT.
2 CORINTHIANS 9. 8.
I. The Character of It.
1. It is “GRACE. ” Free favour of God. Not works.
2. It is “ALL Grace. ” Nothing but Grace all the way.
3. It is “All Grace ABOUNDING TOWARD YOU. ” For
your own personal and eternal needs.
II. The Measure of It.
1. It is ALL-SUFFICIENT . As to its source.
2. It is All-sufficient ALWAYS. As to its outflow.
3. It is All-sufficient always IN ALL THINGS. As to its
adaptability.
III. The Assurance of It. “God is able. ”
1. BELIEVE it.
2. EXPECT it.
3. THANK HIM for it.
IV. The Outcome of It. “May abozmd ilz every
good work. ” –
SALVATION FOR ALL.
1 TIMOTHY 2. 3, 4.
1. An Almighty Saviour. “God our Saviour. ”
2. An All-embracing Purpose. “Who will have
all men to be saved. ”
3. An Al.l-important Need “To come to a know-ledge
of the truth. ”
4. An All-important End. “This is acceptable in
the sight of God. ”.272 Handfuls on Purpose.
AWAKE, AWAKE.
ISAIAH 52. 1, 2.
I. A Sorrowful Condition Suggested.
1. A State of INSENSIBILITY . “Awake, awake. ”
2. A State of UNCLEANNESS. “Shake thyself from
the dust. ”
3. A State of CAPTIVITY. “Loose thyself, 0 captive
daughter. ”
II. An Arousing Call. The urgent call of God-1.
To AWAKE. To true consciousness.
2. To DECIDED ACTION. “Shake thyself. ”
3. To RECEIVE A GIFT. “Pact 08 thy beautiful gar-ments.

THE HEALING WATERS.
EZEKIEL 47. 1-12.
1. Their Source. “Threshold.. . of the sanctuary”
(w. 1-12).
2. Their Course. “Came down by the altar” (v. I).
3. Their Influence. “Everything shall live whither
the river cometh” (v. 9).
4. Their Abundance. “Waters to swim in” (v. 5).
HIMSELF FOR OUR SINS.
GALATIANs 1. 3-5.
HIMSELF for OWY sins. What a contrast I There are great
deeps here.
1. Revelation. “Grace to you and peace from God
the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ. ”
2. Substitution. “Who gave Himself for our sins. ”
3. Salvation. “Deliver us from this present evil
world. ”
4. Explanation. “According to the will of God our
Father. ”
5. Adoration. “To whom be glory for ever and ever. ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 273
A CURE FOR CAREFULNESS.
PHILIPPIANS 4. 6, 7.
1. The Disease. “Carefulness. ”
2. The Remedy. Prayerfulness. “Let your requests
be made known unto God. ”
3. The Promise. Blessfulness. “The peace of God
shall keep your hearts. ”
WHAT THINK YE OF CHRIST)
MATTHEW 22. 42.
1. As a Teacher. 5. As a Master.
2. As a Worker. 6. As a Friend.
3. As a Sufferer. 7. As a Judge.
4. As a Saviour.
SOWING AND REAPING.
GALATIANS 4. 7, 8.
1. A Common Mistake. Self-deception. “Be not
deceived” by your own thoughts or feelings.
2. A Solemn Reminder. “God is not mocked. ” He
will not be mocked by indifference, false promises, or
professions.
3. An Unfailing Law. “Whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap. ”
FOUR TITLES OF CHRIST.
ZECHARIAH 10. 4.
1. The “Corner. ” Christ our Foundation.
2. The “Nail. ” Christ our Burden -bearer.
3. The “Battle-Bow. ” Christ our Defence.
4. The “Ruler. ” Christ our Lord (margjq R. v. )..274 Handfuls on Purpose.
THE POWER OF THE SON.
JOHN 5. 24.
1. The Person Who Speaks. “Verily, verily I say
unto you. ”
2. The Blessing Offered. “Everlasting Life. ”
3. The Promise Made, “Shall not, ” “Hath. ”
4. The Condition Mentioned. He that “heareth”
and “believeth. ”
THE SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
MALACHI. 4. 2.
As the Sun of Righteousness, Christ is-1.
The Centre of the New Creation. The law of
attraction here is the law of love.
2. The Glory of the Spiritual World. His presence
. fills it.
3. The Source of all Spirit Blessings. Light, life,
warmth, beauty, fruitfulness.
4. His Movements are Infallably Trustworthy. Never
fails in His course of action.
5. His Progress is Irresistible. He cannot be hin-dered
nor hurried.
6. His Shining is for the Good of All. No sunset for
those who follow Him. Eternal gloom without Him.
ZACCHAEUS.
LUKE 19. l-10.
THE story of his conversion. Note-1.
His Anxiety. “Sought to see Jesus. ”
2. His Difficulties. “Chief among the publicans and
little of stature. ”
3. His Earnestness. “Ran.. . climbed. *
4. His Call. “Come down. ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 275
5. His Obedience. “He made haste. ”
6. His Acceptance. “Received Him gladly. “
7. His Salvation. “This day is salvation come to
this house. ”
THE SINNER’S HOPE.
ISAIAH 59. I, 2.
I. Their Condition.
1. SEPARATED from God. “Your iniquities have
separated you. ”
2. UNFIT for God. “Your sins have hidden His face. ”
II. Their Hope. In the fact that-1.
God’s EAR is not Heavy. Ever wide-awake to the
cry of need.
2. God’s HAND is not Shortened. It takes a long arm
to reach sinful men, and a strong hand to save them.
THE SAVIOUR.
1 TIMOTHY 2. 3-6.
1. The Saviour’s Power. “God our Saviour. ”
2. The Saviour’s Purpose. “Who will have all men
to be saved. ”
3. The Saviour’s Provision. “Gave Himself a ransom
for all. ”
4. The Saviour’s Position. “Between God and men. ”
SIRS, WE WOULD SEE JESUS.
JOHN 12. 21.
JESUS is a great attraction.
I. Some Motives for Seeking Jesus.
1. CURIOSITY. “Saving Lazarus” (v. 9).
2. WORLDLY ADVANTAGE. “Loaves and fishes. ”
3. SOUL DISTRESS. Woman in Simon’s house..276 Handfuls on Purpose.
II. Where Jesus may be Seen.
I. In BETHLEHEM . As the Lowly One.
2. In JERUSALEM. As the Merciful One (John 7. 37).
3. In GETHSEMANE . As the Suffering One.
4. On THE CROSS. As the Redeeming One.
5. In THE RESURRECTION. As the Victorious One.
6. In THE HEAVENS. As the Glorified One.
III. The Effect of Seeing Jesus.
1. CONFESSION. 4. TRANSFORMATION.
2. SALVATION. 5. GLORIFICATION .
3. SATISFACTION.
THE VOICE OF THE BLOOD.
EXODUS 12. 13; HEBREWS 12. 24.
“THE Blood that speaketh. “
1. Of Sacrifice. “Lamb slain. ”
2. Of Satisfaction. Purpose of God accomplished
through it.
3. Of Substitution. “Iamb slain” for the house.
Christ for us.
4. Of Submission. The sprinkled blood spoke of
faith and obedience on the part of the household.
5. Of Salvation. Their safety depended on the blood.
CONVERSION.
MATTHEW 18, 3.
HERE are three reasons why it is needed.
1. Because by nature we are not now as “little
children. ”
2. Because we are presently unfit for “the Kingdom
of Heaven ”
3. Because Christ says: “Except ye be converted ye
cannot. ” He knows.Gospel Outlines and Seed ThouBhts- 277
WHY NOT BELIEVE ME?
JOHN 8. 46.
“IF I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? ” “1 have
told you the truth”-1.
About My Character, . . . ._. . . . v. 12
2. About My Mission, . . . . . . v. 18
3. About the Awfulness of Sin, . . . . v. 24
4. About the Conditions of Discipleship, . . v. 31
5. About Spiritual Freedom, . . . . v. 36
6 About Your Own Condition, . . w. 42-44
“Why do you not believe Me 1”
A CALL TO DECISION.
2 SAMUEL 3. 17.
1. Whom they sought. “They sought David. ”
2. When they sought him. “In times past. ”
3. Why they sought him. “To be king over them. ”
4. “Now then, do it. ” David is within your reach,
and offered to you.
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
I. Its God-ward Aspect.
1. Ground of ATONEMENT, . . . . Lev. 17. 11
A Covering. 2. Ground of REDEMPTION , . . . . 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19
A Price. 3. Ground of PEACE, ._, _ . . Cal. 1. 20
A Purchase.
II. Its Man-ward Aspect.
1. F O R G I V E N E SS , .“. . . , . Cal. 1. 14
2. CONTINUAL CLEANSING, . . . . . 1 John 1. 7
3. N EARNESS , . . . . . . . . . Eph. 3. 13 4. B OLDNESS , , . – .-. . . Heb. 10. 19, 20.278 Handfuls on Purpose.
5. HOLINESS, …….. Heb. 13. 12
6. SERVICE, …… , , Heb. 9. 14
7. VICTORY, …… . , Rev. 12. 11
TWO CUPS.
JOHN 18. 11; PSALM 116. 12, 13.
I. The Cup of Suffering offered to Christ (John 18. 11 j.
1. Its CONTENTS. “Betrayal. ” False accusations,
mockery, desertion, death, curse.
2. Its NATURE “A cup. ” Not a well or spring.
3. The GIVER. “My Father. ”
4. Its ACCEPTANCE. “Shall I not drink it ? ”
II. The Cup of Salvation offered to us (Psalm
116. 12, 13).
1. Its CONTENTS. Pardon, peace, paradise, salvation.
2. Its GIVER. “Gift of God. ”
3. Its ACCEPTANCE. “I will take the cup of salvation. ”
NEITHER MORE NOR LESS.
EXODUS 30. 15. REDEMPTION is-1.
Needed by All. “Every man a ransom” (v. 12).
2. Alike for All. “Rich not give more, and the poor
not less. ”
3. Sufficient for All. “Make an atonement for your
SOUL% ”
LIFE AND DEATH.
DEUTERONOMY 30. 19, 20.
1. A Responsibility. “Life and death. ”
2. A Privilege. “I have set before you life. ”
3. An Explanation. “HE is thy life. ”
4. An Exhortation. “Therefore choose life. ”
5. An Encouragement. “That both thou and thy
seed may live. ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. !279
A WISE CHOICE.
1 CHRONICLES 21. 13.
1. The Difficulty. “I am in a great strait. ”
2. The Alternative. “Between the Lord and.. . man. ”
3. The Choice. “Let me fall into the hand of the
Lord. ”
4. The Reason. “For very great are His mercies. ”
WELL OR WOE.
ISAIAH 3. 10, Il.
1. Two Glasses. “Righteous.. . wicked. ”
2. Two conditions. “Well.. . woe ”
3. Two Rewards. “Eat the fruit of their doings. ”
“The reward of his hands given him. ”
A GREAT LIGHT.
ISAIAH 9. 2.
I. A Twofold Need.
1. “WALKING in darkness. ”
2. “DWELLING in the shadow of death. ”
II. A Twofold Privilege.
1. “I&ve seen a GREAT LIGHT. ”
2. “UPON THEM hath the light shined. ”
THE PRODIGAL.
LUKE 15. 11-24.
1. He was Bad (v. 12). 3. He was Sad (v, 16).
2. He was Mad (v. 13). 4. He was Glad (v. 24).
WORKS OF GRACE.
PSALM 81. 6-16.
I. The Infinite Grace of God. Seen in-1.
REMOVING BURDENS, . . . , __ v 6
2. LIBERATING HANDS, . . . . . V. 6.280 Handfuls on Purpose.
3. ANSWERING PRAYER, , . . . . . v. 7
4. T ESTING F AITH , . . . . , . . . v. 7
5. ENCOURAGING HOPE, . . . . . . w. 8, 9
6. PROMISING SUFFICIENCY, . . . . . . v. 10
II. The Base Ingratitude of Man.
1.
2.
3.
4.
PRIDE MAN&TED,. . . , ._. margin, v. 11
SELF-WILL ASSERTED, . . . . . . v. 12
L OVE G RIEVED , . . . . . , . . v. 13
PRIVILEGE LO ST, . . . . . . w. 14-16
1.
2.
3.
4
5.
6.
7.
THE BLESSED PEOPLE.
PSALM 89, 15-18.
What they Know. “The joyful sound. ”
Where they Walk. “In the light of Thy countenance”
In what they Rejoice. “In Thy Name all the day. ”
How they are Exalted. “In Thy righteousness. ”
The Secret of their Strength. “Thou art. ”
The Sphere of their Life. “In Thy favour. ”
Their Security. “The Lord our Shield” (ma&z).
A GREAT SALVATION.
PSALM 106. 6-12. I. The Need of It.
1. There was IGNORANCE of God’ s Wonders (v, 7).
2. There was FORGETFULNESS of God’ s Mercies (v. 7).
3. There was REBELLION against God’ s Will (v, 7. R. v. ).
11. The Nature of It. There was in it-1.
2.
3.
4
5.
6.
7
GRACE. “For His Name’ s sake. ”
PURPOSE. “That He might. ”
POWER. “Rebuked the Red Sea. ”
GUIDANCE. “He led them. ”
PROTECTION . “He saved them from the enemy. ”
FAITH. “They believed His words. ”
PRAISE. “They sang His praise. ”.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 281
A FJSED HEART.
PSALM 108. l-6.
I. The Heart Needs Fixing.
II. God only Can Properly Fix It.
III. The Characteristics of a Fixed Heart. It is a .-1.
CONFIDENT HEART. “0 God, my heart is fixed. ”
2. HAPPY HEART. “I will sing praises. ”
3. WIDE-AWAKE HEARTS. “I will awake early. ”
4. FEARLESS HEART. “I will sing unto Thee among
the nations. ”
THANKFUL HEART. “Thy mercy is great. ”
GOD-HONOURING HEART. “Be Thou exalted. ”
PITIFUL HEART. “Save with Thy right hand. ”
THE BREAD FROM HEAVEN.
JOHN 6. 32-35.
Christ the Bread of God (v. 33). Meeting the need
of God on our behalf.
2. Christ the Living Bread (v. 33). Meeting the
world’ s need-dead in sins. He is the Life-givirzg Bread.
3. Christ the Bread of Life (v. 35). Meeting and
sustaining the needs of His people. Eat, 0 friends.
SAUL’ S CONVERSION.
SEE him- ACTS 9. l-20.
1. As a Rebel. “Yet breathing out threatenings’ ”
[see Acts 7. 58).
2. As a Prisoner. “He fell to the earth. ”
3. As an Inquirer. “Who art Thou, Lord ? ”
4. As a Disciple. “Lord, what wilt Thou have me
to do ? ”
5. As a Worshipper. “Behold he prayeth. ”
6. As a Witness. “Straightway he preached Christ”
(v. 20).
VOL. x. 19.282 Handfuls on Puruose .
CONSIDER YOUR WAYS.
HAGGAI 1. 5, 6.
HAVE they not been disappointing ? See how unsatisfying
they have been.
1. “Ye have sown much and brought in little. ”
2. “Ye eat, but ye have not enough. ”
3. “Ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink. ”
4. “Ye clothe ye, but there is no war&h. ”
5. Ye put “wages into a bag with holes, ” NO profit.
“CONSIDER YOUR WAYS. ”
A SURE FOUNDATION.
2 TIMOTHY 2. 19.
1. There is a Foundation. Men need not build on
sand (Matt. 7: 26).
2. This Foundation is Laid by God. “The founda-tion
of God” (Isa. 28. 6).
3. This Foundation is Immovable. “Standeth sure.”
4. All who Build on it are Sealed for Him. “Having
this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His. ”
THE POWER OF THE CROSS.
1 CORINTHIANS 1. 18.
NOTE the place the Cross had in Paul’ s preaching (v. 17).
I. What is Meant by the Cross ? The atoning death
of the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. What is Meant by the Preaching of the Gross ?
Holding up Christ’s death as the Divine remedy for the
sins and souls of men, As Moses lifted up the serpent
in the wilderness.
III. What are the Effects of a Preached Cross?
1. “FOOLISHNESS ” to them that believe ~zot.
2. “POWER OF GOD” to them that believe. Power to
save andi satisfy..Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 283
TRANSFORMING GRACE.
ZECHAKIAH 3. 1-5.
1. A Sad Condition. “Clothed with filthy garments. “
2. A Strong Opposition. “Satan standing to resist. ”
3. A Good Position. “Standing before the angel. ”
Christ.
4, A Great Transformation. “Filthy garments taken
away, and clothed with change of raiment. ”
5. A Perfect Salvation. “Is not this a brand plucked
out of the fire ? ” (v. 2).
DEATH IN THE POT.
“THEN bring meal” (2 Kings 4. 41). Overcome evil
with good.
1, There is death in the pot of strong drink. Then
bring the “Water of Life. ”
2. There is death in the pot of literature. Then bring
the “Word of God. ”
3. There is death in the pot of worldly pleasure.
Then bring the “Heavenly Treasures. ”
4. There is death in the pot of the carnal mind. Then
bring the “Mind of Christ. ”
5. There is death in the pot of false profession. ‘ l&n
bring the “Gospel of Christ. ”
POTS V. HEARTS.
PSALM 68. 13.
1. A Dangerous Pot, . . , . 2 Kings 4. 40
2, A Boiling Pot, . . . . . . Jer. 1. 13
3. A Polluted Pot, , . . . . . Ezek. 24. 6
4. A Refining Pot, . . . . . . Prov. 17. 3
5. An Unfailing Pot, . . . . . . 2 Kings 4. 2
6. A Golden Pot, . . . . . . Heb. 9. 4
7. A Consecrated Pot, . . . , Zech. 14. 20, 21.284 Handfuls on Purpose.
TWO KINDS OF BLINDNESS.
ISAIAH 42. 7-19.
I. Guilty Blindness. “To open the eyes of the
blind” (v. 7).
1. Blind to THEIR OWN NEED.
2, Blind to the GOSPEL LIGHT (2 Cor. 4. 4).
3. Blindness of WILFUL IGNORANCE (Rom. 10. 3).
II. God-honouring Blindness. “Who is blind as
the Lord’s servant” (v. 19).
1. Blind to ~~~A~~RACTIONSOFTHEWORLD (1 John2.16).
2. Blind to the TEMPTATIONS OF THE DEVIL (Matt. 4. 8).
3. Blind to SELF-EASE and PLEASURE.
FALSE FIRE.
ISAIAH 50. 10,
LEARN here that-I.
The difference between the
is real. The false is self-made.
The true is from above.
11.
false and the true fire
‘ l Ye have kindled. ”
II. The kindling of a fire reveals a need felt. Implying
darkness, danger.
III. The fire of man’s kindling is most uncertain.
Sparks, fitful, untrustworthy.
IV. Those who walk in the light of their own fire end
in misery. “Lie down in sorrow. ”
V. The way out of darkness is very plain.
1. “TRUST in the Name of the Lord. ”
2. “STAY upon God. ”
GOD’ S REMEDY FOR A WORLD’ S WOES.
JOHN 3. 16.
I. The Object of God’ s Love. “The world. ” In all
its darkness, guilt, hopelessness..Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 285
II. The Manifestation of God’s Love, “Gave His
son. ” This the result of God’ s calculation of the world’ s
need.
III. The Purpose of this Manifestation.
1. To Reveal HIS ATTITUDE TOWARDS ALL. “Loved. ”
2. To Make SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR ALL. “Whoso-ever
believeth. ”
3. To Make SALVATION CERTAIN TO EVERY BELIEVER.
“Not perish, but have. ”
LOVED AND LIFTED.
ISAIAH 38. 17.
I. A Miserable Condition. “In the pit of comp-
tion. ” The pit, a place of darkness. Bondage.
II. A Sorrowful Experience. “For peace I had great
bitterness. ” The bitterness of disappointment; the bitter-ness
of a guilty conscience.
III. A Wonderful Deliverance.
1. The NATURE of It. “From the pit of corruption. ”
2. The COMFORT of It. “Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back. ”
3. The CAUSE of It. “In love to my soul. p
THE LIGHT OF THE GOSPEL.
2 CORINTHIANS 4. 3, 4.
I. The Gospel. What is it? Good news. God’ s
spell. Glory of Christ (R.v.).
II. Its Influence.
1. It is a LIGHT. 2. A Light that shines OUT OF DARKNESS (v. 6). 3. A Light that is to SHINE IN THE HEART. 4. A Light that REVEALS THE GLORY OF GOD in the face of Jesus Christ..286 Handfuls on Purpose.
III. The Hiding of the Light. “If our Gospel be
hid, ” etc.
1. If hid, it is an evidence of UNBELIEF (v. 4).
2. If hid, an evidence of BONDAGE. “Satan hath
blinded the mind. ”
3. If hid, an evidence of BEING LOST. “If Gospel is
hid-hid to them that are perishing” (R-V.).
A SAD CASE.
2 CHRONICLES 36. 16.
1. God’ s Messengers Mocked.
2. God’ s Word Despised.
3. God’ s Prophets Misused.
4. God’ s Wrath Aroused,
5. God’ s Presence Withdrawn. “No remedy. ”
THE LAME MAN.
ACTS 3. l-11.
1. He was Helpless. “Lame . . carried. ”
2. He was Hopeful. “Look on us., . and he gave heed
unto them. ”
3. He was Helped. “Took him by the hand and
lifted him up. ”
4. He was Healed. “He entered with them, leaping. ”
5. He was Happy. “Praising God. ”
CirRIST OUR PASSOVER.
. 1 Corinthians 5. 7.
SEE Exodus 12. l-24. The Passover lamb-1.
Was appointed by God, . . , . John 1. 29
2. Was subjected to a time of testing, Luke 9. 35
See Christ’ s whole public life.
3. Must be without blemish, 1 Peter. 18, 19
4. Must be slain, . . . . 1-1 Luke 24. 26.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 287
5. Must not break its bones, . . John 19. 36
6. Blood must be sprinkled, . . Web. 9. 21-23
7. Flesh must be eaten roast with fire. It is “Christ
crucified” that satisfies.
THEY OVERCAME BY THE BLOOD.
REVELATION 12. 11.
1. The Dragon’ s Character and Downfall (v. 9).
2. The Cause of his Downfall. “Manchild enthroned”
(v. 5).
3. The Blessings Offered. “No& is come salvation,
strength, Kingdom of God, and the sovereignty of Christ. ”
4. The Secret of Victory. Threefold.
(1) By the “Blood of the Lamb. ”
(2) By the “Word of their Testimony. ”
(3) By “Loving not their lives unto the death. ” Self-surrender.
CHRIST’ S SUFFERINGS AT THE HANDS OF MEN.
1. Betrayed by the Hypocritical, ._. ._. v. 5
2. Defended by the Passionate, . . vv. 10-11
3. Smitten by the Unreasonable, . . . vv. 21-23
4. Denied by the Cowardly, . . ._. v. 25
5. Shunned by the Self-righteous, . . . . v. 28
6. Questioned by the Ambitious, vv. 33-38; ch. 19. I
7. Mocked by the Frivolous, ._. vv. 19-23
1.
2.
3.
4.
THE SUN AND SHIELD.
PSALM 84. 11-12.
Provision. “The Lord is a Sun and Shield. ”
Promise. “He wilt give grace and glory. ”
Prospect. “No good thing will He withold. ”
Privilege. “Blessed is the man that trusteth inThee.”
JOHN 18..288 Handfuls on Purpose.
THE JUBILEE GOSPEL.
LUKE 4. 18, 19.
1. The Virtues of this Gospel. It heals, delivers,
recovers, liberates.
2. The Authority of the Preacher. “The Spirit
of the Lord is upon me. He hath anointed me to preach. ”
3. The Graciousness of the Offer. “To the poor. "
4. The Time of Opportunity. “The acceptable
year. " A limited time. “Behold, now is the accepted
time. u
THE BREAD OF LIFE.
JOHN 6. 51.
WHAT are its characteristics ?
1. It “came down from Heaven, ” Divine.
2. It is the “Living Bread. ” Life-giving.
3. It was given “for the life of the world. ” All-sufficient.
4. He that eateth it will “live for ever. ” Eternal
5. It is to “any man. ” Universal.
THE SHIP WAS BROKEN.
ACTS 27. 40-44.
WE may learn from this shipwreck-1.
That there are sunken rocks in the course of
life. Unbelief, neglect, love of world.
2. That our plans and purposes may be suddenly
broken up. “Rich fool. ”
3. That unexpected trials and disappointments may
be for our good. Paul.
4. That the sight of helplessness and suffering calls
forth sympathy and self-sacrifice..Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 289
5. That in the presence of a great calamity earthly
things lose their value. “Cargo overboard. ”
6. That the means of salvation may be lightly es-teemed.
“Broken pieces of the ship. ”
WISDOM’S CRY.
PROVERBS 1. 20-26.
IN this cry we hear the voice of Him who is the “Wisdom
of God. ” It is-1.
An Open Cry. “She crieth in the chief places of
concourse. I’
2. A Pitiful Cry. “How long, ye simple ones ? ”
3. A Reproving Cry. “How long will fools hate
wisdom ? “
4. An Inviting Cry. “Turn ye. “
5. A Merciful Cry. “Behold I will pour out my
Spirit upon you, “ etc.
6. A Rejected Cry. “I have called, and ye have
refused. “
7. A Mocking Cry. “I will mock when your fear
cometh. U
ARE YOU READY?
MATTHEW 25. l-12.
I. The Character of Christ. “Behold, the Bride-groom.
“ One pledged to His own.
II. The Church’s Hope. “Behold the Bridegroom
cometh. “
III. The Condition Revealed. “Few wise and few
foolish. “ The real and the false
IV. The Cry Made. “There was a cry made, “
1. It was made at an UNWELCOME hour. “Midnight. N
2. It was an AWAKENING cry. “All slumbered and slept.“.290 Handfuls on Purpose.
3. It was a SEPARATING cry. “Come ye forth” (R. v. ).
4. It Was a SELF-SEARCHING Cry. “They arose and
trimmed their lamps. ”
V. The Crisis Reached. Then came the-1.
SECURITY of fhe Prepared. “They that were ready
went in. ”
2. DOOM of the Unprepared. The ulzready were shut
out (v. 10).
THEY HEARD HIM GLADLY.
MARK 12. 37.
REASONS why the common people, or the multitude,
heard Him gladly.
1. Because He always treated them respectfully.
2. Because He spoke plainly and simply.
3. Because He spoke sympathetically, as one who
loved them (8. 2).
4. Because He showed no respect of persons.
5. Because He appealed to their deeper needs.
6. Because “He spake as one having authority. ”
7. Because His life was in perfect accord with His
teaching.
MAN’ S SEVENFOLD NEED DIVINELY MET
IN JESUS GHRIST.
JOHN 1.
MAN’s deepest need can be met by-1.
A Divine Revelation of the Father.
Jesus Christ has declared Him, . . . . . . vv. 14-18
2. A Divine Light whereby we may see
things as they really are in Christ the Light, w. 7-9
3. A Divine Substitute to atone for sin.
Christ is the Lamb of God, , . . . . . v. 29.Gospel Outlines and Seed Thoughts. 291
4. A Divine Right to the Family of God.
Christ gives that right, . . . . . . . . v. 12
5. A Divine Nature to fit him for that holy
family. Christ by His Spirit gives that, . . v. 13
6. A Divine Fulness to satisfy that nature.
Christ has that, . . . . . . . . . . v. 16
7. A Divine Power for service. Christ
gives that, . . . . . . . . . . . v. 33
SALVATION FACITS.
JOHN 3.
1. The Character of God (v. 16), . . Love.
2. The Mission of Christ (w. 2, 17), Salvation.
3. The Power of the Spirit (v. S), Life-giving.
4. The Need of Man (vv. 3, 19), . . Regeneration.
5, The Condition of Life (w. 14, 15), Believing.
6. The Consequence of Unbelief
(vv. 18, 19), . .
7. The Evidence of Faith (v.‘ 21),
. . . Condemnation.
._ Works.
CHRIST DIED FOR US.
ROMANS 5. 6-11.
I. The Object of His Death.
1. UNGODLY (v. 6). 3. ENEMIES (v. 10).
2. SINNERS (v. 8).
II. The Purpose of His Death.
1. To SAVE (v. 9). 3. To RECONCILE (v. 10)
2. To JUSTIFY (v. 9). 4. To SATISFY (v. 11).
SEEK YE THE LORD.
ISAIAH 55. 6, 7.
1. The Soul’ s Need. “The Lord. ”
2. How the Lord is to be Found. “Seek ye. ”.292 Handfuls on Purpose.
3. Encouragement to Seek.
il) “He may be found. ” (2) “He is near. ‘ S
4. The Time. “While ”
5. The Manner. “Let the wicked forsake his way. . .
and his thoughts. ”
6. The Promised Blessings. “He will have mercy.. .
He will abundantly par&r. ”
FORGIVENESS.
ACTS 10. 43.
I. Of Whom the prophets witnessed. “To Him. ”
II. Their General Testimony. “Ah! the prophets. ”
III. The Nature of their Testimony.
1. They testified to the “REMISSION of sins. ”
2. That this remission was only “through HIS NAME. ”
3. That this remission was given through "BELIEVING
in Him. ”
4. That this blessing was offered to “WHOSOEVER . *
Printed at the Press of the Publishen.

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