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VALIANT FOR THE TRUTH

 

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PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD

A BIBLE STUDY

WITH MUCH ASSISTANCE FROM

OCTAVIUS WINSLOW AND HIS BOOK BY THE SAME NAME

FEBRUARY 12, 1995

PART ONE - THE PRECIOUSNESS OF CHRIST

 

I Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.

How can you know that you know that you know? Is there any assurance of salvation and if so what is that assurance based upon? Is it based upon the strength of your own sincerity? Some will counsel you as follows:

Did you really mean it when you asked Jesus to come into your heart? Were you sincere? If so then you are truly saved! Don't let anyone tell you different. And don't ever doubt it! Why to doubt it would be a sin! It doesn't matter what your life is like today, if you meant it that day long ago when you asked Jesus to be your personal savior then you are certainly saved.

Should you trust in your own sincerity? Is believing you were sincere the basis of our assurance of salvation? Is entertaining doubts concerning the authenticity of your salvation a sin?

Consider the following verses:

II Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

The apostle inspired by the Holy Spirit counsels us to examine ourselves, to determine if we really are in the faith.

The apostle also sets for us a good example:

I Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

RWP: It is humbling for us all to see this wholesome fear instead of smug complacency in this greatest of all heralds of Christ. [RWP-Robertsons Word Pictures in the New Testament]

Matthew Henry: A holy fear of himself was necessary to preserve the fidelity of an apostle; and how much more necessary is it to our preservation? Note, Holy fear of ourselves is the best security against apostasy from God, and final rejection by Him.

It is our duty to know that we know that we know, to examine ourselves.

It is not a sin to have a holy doubt that we may prove ourselves and know our faith to be true and genuine.

No, we should not trust in the sincerity of our profession of faith or "sinners prayer". We should trust in Christ himself.

Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

The pharisee was certainly deceived:

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

How dreadful - eternally dreadful to deceive YOUR OWNSELF!

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

How dreadful to DECEIVE YOUR OWN HEART:

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion [is] vain.

Now as we begin this study let us first note that the preciousness of Jesus Christ is a wonderful evidence that the Life of God is surely in our soul. As we see our own undoneness, worthlessness, sinfulness, yes total depravity we see Jesus Christ our precious savior. How precious he is to the soul who knows his hopeless condition without him. Jesus Christ precious to us who believe!

Jesus Christ the only name.....

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Whom do I have but HIM!

Psalms 73:25 Whom have I in heaven [but thee]? and [there is] none upon earth [that] I desire beside thee.

Are you convicted of your own guilt of sin and do you see Jesus Christ as the LORD YOUR SAVIOR? If so then how then can He not be precious to your soul? Precious Lord How can it be that thou my God has died for me!

I Timothy 1:15 This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Think on this, He was rich in glory, he was God, he was from everlasting, He had glory with the Father before the world was, by him all things came into being, nothing was made without him........

I Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

II Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting.

JESUS IS CHRIST IS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD. HE IS GLORIOUS TO BEHOLD. HE IS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; .................. (we could keep reading the rest of chapter one)

Note it says: when he had by himself purged our sins. He cleansed us from our own sins. Praise God! Now the point I want you to see is this and I quote Octavius Winslow:

"He still had been the ETERNAL SON OF GOD, divine, peerless, glorious--the object of supreme love, adoration, and worship by all celestial beings and through all eternal ages. While, then, His sacrificial work illustrates His marvelous grace and love to sinners, that work owes all its acceptance and efficacy to the value imparted to it by the essential Deity of His person. Thus, it is the personal preciousness of Christ that imparts an official preciousness to His work." Winslow, Precious Things of God, pg 6, Boldface added]

The personal preciousness of Jesus Christ imparts official preciousness to his work!!!

Christ the Creator of the world, in whom is all power in heaven and in earth, and he is with us always even unto the ends of the earth:

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

He was rich in glory but became poor that we through his poverty might be made rich. All power in heaven and earth is his and yet he washed us from our sins in his own blood.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

HOW PRECIOUS HE IS TO THE HEART AND SOUL OF EVERY TRUE BELIEVER. ARE YOU IN CHRIST AND IS HE IN YOU? Then I know he must indeed be precious to you for he is precious to US who believe. What matters anything else? Jesus is precious to me! The world is going to hell, but Jesus is precious to me!

THE PERSONAL PRECIOUSNESS OF CHRIST:

Again, I feel compelled to quote from Winslow that we might bring this truth closer to heart because he can say it so much better than I:

But pause, Christian reader, for a moment, in wonder and praise before this august truth. If there be a spot where we should put off the shoes from our feet, surely it is this. With what profound reverence, with what silent awe, yet with what adoring love should we contemplate the GODHEAD of our Redeemer! But for that Godhead we had been for ever lost! His obedience to the law, His satisfaction to the justice of Jehovah, had been of no efficacy or avail, save only as it partook of the authority, dignity, and virtue of His higher nature. Do not question the existence of the fact because of the mystery of its mode. How Jehovah could become incarnate is a wonder we shall never, in this state of limited knowledge, fully understand; enough that it is so. Let reason reverently adore, and faith implicitly trust. [Winslow, Precious Things, pg 7]

THE PRECIOUS MANHOOD OF CHRIST:

Is this not precious to your heart Christ who is ABSOLUTE DEITY is also and as well PERFECT HUMANITY? - "mild he lay his glory by born that man no more may die." Hebrews 7:24-26 But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

He knew no sin - but he bore our sins:

II Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Hebrews 2:16 For verily he took not on [him the nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the seed of Abraham.

Precious to our hearts as God -- precious as Man -- precious as both united in one -- inconceivable and eternally precious is He, whose name is "Wonderful," to His believing saints. Tell, oh tell, how precious is that humanity of the Son of God that partook, by actual participation, and still bears, by the most perfect sympathy, all the sinless weaknesses, infirmities, temptations, and sorrows of His people.[Winslow, Precious, pg 9]

Precious humanity that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest.

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.  For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

PRECIOUS IN HIS WORK:

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

I Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Ephesians 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

READ HEBREWS 9-10 AND VIEW THE PRECIOUSNESS OF CHRIST'S WORK.

HE IS MIGHTY TO SAVE:

Isaiah 63:1 Who [is] this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this [that is] glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore [art thou] red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people [there was] none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

HOW PRECIOUS IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST:

Ezekiel 16:14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it [was] perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Psalms 111:3 His work [is] honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Job 36:3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

The righteousness of Jesus Christ - "so holy, so divine, so complete, so satisfactory, it has forever perfected the pardon, perfected the justification, perfected the adoption, and will perfect the sanctification when it perfects the glory of all the elect of Jehovah" [Precious, Winslow, pg 14]

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Those outside of Christ will have no part in his righteousness:

Psalms 69:27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

II Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

The righteous Lord Jesus Christ was a lamb without spot or blemish and is this not precious in your eyes? Professor of Christ is he precious to you, Are you his child by faith and are you a partaker of the many blessings of eternal life found only in him who knew no sin yet made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God IN HIM.

I Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

PRECIOUS IS JESUS CHRIST IN HIS OFFICES - prophet, priest and KING and HEAD OF HIS PEOPLE:

Jesus is the Head of His Church - no POPE, no KING, none but Jesus.

Show your love to his government:

Declare his headship over the church and over your own life,

Obey his laws,

Bow to his authority,

Humble yourself under his Lordship,

NOTE HIS SCEPTRE:

Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

Colossians 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

PRECIOUS AS HUSBAND of HIS CHURCH:

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

II Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.

PRECIOUS IS HE AS A FRIEND:

Proverbs 18:24 A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.

PRECIOUS HE IS AS BROTHER:

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Hebrews 2:12-15 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

See Jesus Christ in all his offices to you, all his relations to you, and can you find him anything but precious. Our precious HEAD, our precious HUSBAND, our precious friend, our precious Brother, OUR LORD AND OUR KING. Sing unto the LORD!

Song of Solomon 5:10 My beloved [is] white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

Song of Solomon 5:16 His mouth [is] most sweet: yea, he [is] altogether lovely. This [is] my beloved, and this [is] my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

TO WHOM IS HE PRECIOUS?

He is not precious to all. No, only to a few. A few peculiar people:

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Note: the Greek peculiar: periousios is used only here in Titus 2:14. Meaning chosen, special, a people selected by God from the other nations for his own possession.

A CHOSEN PEOPLE and a CALLED PEOPLE:

I Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

A little flock:

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Jesus Christ is precious therefore to us who believe. Winslow states

that "Faith is the optical faculty of the regenerate, it is the spiritual eye of the soul. Faith sees Christ, and as Christ is seen His excellence is descried: and as His excellence unfolds, so He becomes an object of endearment to the heart."

I Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

How precious is Christ to Stephen!!!!!

Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

How precious is Jesus in time of temptation:

Colossians 2:15 [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

He knoweth how to deliver:

II Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Give him your supreme affection:

Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

In closing this wonderful subject of the preciousness of Jesus Christ hear the solemn yet joyful words of Winslow:

On death..

Imagine that moment to have arrived! All of earth's attraction ceases, all of creature-succour fails. Everything is failing--medical skill failing--human affection and sympathy failing; the film of death is on the eye, and the invisible realities of the spirit-world are unveiling to the mental view. Bending over you, the loved one who has accompanied you to the margin of the cold river, asks a sign. You are too weak to conceive a thought, too low to breath a word, too absorbed to bestow a responsive glance. You cannot now aver your faith in an elaborate creed, and you have no profound experience, or ecstatic emotions, or heavenly visions to describe. One brief, but all-emphatic, all expressive sentence embodies the amount of all that you now know, and believe, and feel; it is the profession of your faith, the sum of your experience, the ground of your hope--- "CHRIST IS PRECIOUS TO MY SOUL!", Enough! The dying Christian can give, and the inquiring friend can wish no more. [Precious, Winslow, pg 32]

Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

 

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