Obedience Equals Piety

“Make no reserve, exercise no choice but obey his command. When you know what he commands, do not hesitate, question, or try to avoid it, but ‘do it’: do it at once, do it heartily, do it cheerfully, do it to the full. It is but a little thing that, as our Lord has bought us with the price of his own blood, we should be his servants. The apostles frequently call themselves the bond-slaves of Christ. Where our [King James] Version softly puts it ‘servant’ it really is ‘bond-slave.’ The early saints delighted to count themselves Christ’s absolute property, bought by him, owned by him, and wholly at his disposal. Paul even went as far as to rejoice that he had the marks of his Master’s brand on him, and he cries, ‘Let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.’ There was the end of all debate: he was the Lord’s, and the marks of the scourges, the rods, and the stones were the broad-arrow of the King which marked Paul’s body as property of Jesus the Lord. Now if the saints of old time gloried in obeying Christ, I pray that you and I, forgetting the sect to which we may belong, or even the nation of which we form a part, may feel that our first object in life is to obey our Lord and not to follow a human leader, or to promote a religious or political party. This one thing we mean to do, and so follow the advice of Solomon as he says, ‘Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.’ Beloved, let us endeavor to be obedient in the minute as well as in the greater matters, for it is in details that true obedience is best seen.”

-Charles Spurgeon, Eyes Right, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1981), 19:356-57.

Christ’s Joy

“Father, it is a great comfort to us that you and your Son are never glib and never gloomy. We delight in the truth that you can be infinitely happy without being callous to our pain. We stand in wonder that the light of Jesus’ joy makes a rainbow in the tears on his face. We long to be like this. We want to be strong and unshakable in the joy of our faith. But we don’t want to be oblivious to the grievousness of our own sin or the pain of other people’s distress. O God, fulfill in us the purpose of your Son in promising that his joy would be in us and that our joy would be full. Make the fruit of the Spirit-joy-flourish in our lives. Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love that we may rejoice and be glad in you. Waken our slumbering souls from the sleep of listlessness. Take away the lukewarmness of our hearts. Fan the flame of zeal for the glory of your name. May Christ so dwell in our hearts with his indestructible joy that day by day we are conformed more and more to his glad image. And so may we be a place of refuge and eternal refreshment for a hopeless, joy-seeking world of people who do not know they are starved for the glory and gladness of God in Jesus Christ.”

-John Piper, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, 39-40

 

Serfs of Him

“We are to wait upon our Master humbly, reverently, feeling it an honor to anything for him. We are to be self-surrendered, given up henceforth to the Lord, free men, yet most truly serfs of this Great Emperor. We are never so free as when we own our sacred serfdom….Often Paul calls himself the servant of the Lord, and even the slave of Christ, and he glories in the branding iron’s marks upon his flesh. ‘I bear,’ says he, ‘in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus; henceforth let no man trouble me.’ We count it liberty to bear the bonds of Christ. We reckon this to be supremest freedom for we sing with the Psalmist, ‘I am thy servant; I am thy servant. Thou hast loosed my bonds.’ ‘Bind the sacrifice with cords, even with cords to the horns of the alter.’ Such is the conduct which our servitude to our Lord requires.”

-Charles Spurgeon, The Way to Honor, sermon no. 1118, in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1981), 19:356-57.

The Power of God

There’s not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.

-Isaac Watts, 1715

“They became very much afraid and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’”

-Mark 4:41

 

Election

“I went to the Word, reading the New Testament from the beginning, with a particular reference to [the] truths [of the doctrine of election]. To my great astonishment I found that the passages which speak decidedly for election and persevering grace, were about four times as many as those which speak apparently against these truths; and even those few, shortly after, when I had examined and understood them, served to confirm me in the above doctrines.

-George Müller, A Narrative of some of the Lord’s Dealing with George Müller, Written by Himself, Jehovah Magnified. Addresses by George Müller Complete and Unabridged, 2 vols. (Muskegon, MI: Dust and Ashes, 2003), 1:46.

 

Necessity of Lordship

“[It is a] twentieth-century heresy that Christ is Savior only by right, Lord by ‘option’ of the ‘believer.’ This denial of the only Master and Lord, preach[es] only half of His person, declaring only partially the truth as it is in Jesus Christ[.] [The gospel] must be preached with the full apprehension of who He is, the demanding Lord as well as the delivering Savior….Denial of the Lordship of the Lord. That is disobedience which in any way makes pliable the requirement of God, for it makes God not God. -June 7, 1950

-Jim Elliot, in Elisabeth Elliot, ed., The Journals of Jim Elliot (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1978), 253

 

Sin equals Laziness

“It is absurd for those who are being led toward the kingdom of God to have sin ruling over them or for those who are called to reign with Christ to choose to be captives to sin, as if one should throw down the crown from off his head and choose to be the slave of a hysterical woman who comes begging and covered in rags….How is it that sin can reign in you? It is not from any power of its own but only from your laziness.”

-Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans, 11, quoted in John MacArthur, Slave (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2010), 202-203.

The Folly of Self-Esteem

A lack of self-esteem is often blamed for man’s troubles. John Piper asserts that self-esteem is the gospel of the modern age. However, such ought not be the case for the slave of God.

“There is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self.” “The healing of the soul begins by restoring the glory of God to its flaming, all-attracting pace at the center.” “Sometimes people stumble over [the] vastness [of the universe] in relation to the apparent insignificance of man. It does seem to make us infinitesimally small. But the meaning of this magnitude is not mainly about us. It’s about God. ‘The heavens declare the glory of God,’ says the Scripture. The reason for ‘wasting’ so much space on a universe to house a speck of humanity is to make a point about our Maker, not us. ‘Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these [stars]? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing’ (Isaiah 40:26).” Man can only find true healing for his soul through recognizing the greatness of God and giving Him the worship He is due.

(quotes taken from John Piper, Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, 13-15)