We must be mortified to self. The apostle speaks of his being crucified to the world (Galatians 6:14), but it is only to the world, as it feeds and maintains self. Man has fallen from God to himself; so that self is now the god of this world, and selfishness is the life of sin. It runs like blood and spirit through every sin. Now self is either natural, moral or religious. We must be dead to all. We must be mortified to natural self, to all natural abilities and accomplishments; to strength, beauty, blood, and honourable birth. Strength is the glory of behemoth, and is subdued by age. The rose and lily have more beauty than we. Blood is a borrowed good; it is the parent’s glory not yours. What is courage, when he can make the shaking of a leaf bring on fear, and terror, and fainting (Leviticus 36; Deuteronomy 28:65)? Yes, we must be mortified to life itself, and this was eminent in Paul. To be mortified to life, is to hate life for Christ. Mortification to life, is our victory in times of suffering (Revelation 12:11). Love of life is the life of sin, when it is not loved in God.
Canons of Dordrecht, V, A, 8:
“Thus it is not in consequence of their own merits, or strength, but of God’s free mercy, that they do not totally fall from faith and grace, nor continue and perish finally in their back-slidings; which, with respect to themselves, is not only possible, but would undoubtedly happen; but with respect to God, it is utterly impossible, since his counsel cannot be changed, nor his promise fail, neither can the call according to his purpose be revoked, nor the merit, intercession and preservation of Christ be rendered ineffectual, nor the sealing of the Holy Spirit be frustrated or obliterated.”
Canons of Dordrecht, III/IV, A, 10:
“But that others who are called by the gospel, obey the call, and are converted, is not to be ascribed to the proper exercise of free will, whereby one distinguishes himself above others, equally furnished with grace sufficient for faith and conversion, as the proud heresy of Pelagius maintains; but it must be wholly ascribed to God, who as he has chosen his own from eternity in Christ, so he confers upon them faith and repentance, rescues them from the power of darkness, and translates them into the kingdom of his own Son, that they may show forth the praises of him who called, who has called them out of darkness into his marvellous light; and may glory not in themselves, but in the Lord according to the testimony of the apostles in various places.”
Canons of Dordrecht, II, A, 8:
“For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening, and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation: that is, it was the will of God, that Christ, by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father; that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death; should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.”
Canons of Dordrecht, I, A, 6:
“That some receive the gift of faith from God, and others do not receive it proceeds from God’s eternal decree. ‘For known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world’ (Acts 15:18). ‘Who works all things after the counsel of his will’ (Ephesians 1:11). According to which decree he graciously softens the hearts of the elect, however obstinate, and inclines them to believe, while he leaves the non-elect in his just judgment to their own wickedness and obduracy. And herein is especially displayed the profound, the merciful, and at the same time the righteous discrimination between men, equally involved in ruin; or that decree of election and reprobation, revealed in the word of God which though men of perverse, impure and unstable minds wrest to their own destruction, yet to holy and pious affords unspeakable consolation.”
“As you look upon this valley of death we call the world, you see nothing but darkness, wrath, judgment, death. In one place only is there a flicker of hope, Golgotha! From the cross there shines the amazing light of God’s love, so strong, so powerful it pierces the dark night of sin and vanquishes the wrath, judgment and death. The love of Christ for sinful man.”
The Lord He rules the Universe,
He’s clothed in majesty;
His power, His glory, manifest,
He reigns eternally.
The swollen streams of heathen rage,
As long as this world stands;
Flood after flood in every age,
But none can break His bounds.
Mightier Lord than all their noise,
Than all the oceans wave;
Yes than the noise of all the seas,
Your throne they’ll not remove.
The Lord is great His power supreme,
More than the floods of men;
They rise and fall in pride they dream,
But God is God, Amen!
O you His folk trust in the Lord,
His testimonies sure;
You have His sure and certain word,
It ever shall endure.
(Tune: Belmont; CM)
© James R Hamilton – Written Friday, December 24, 2004