Pink: Forgive Us Our Debts

“‘And forgive us our debts.’ Strange to say, some experience a difficulty here. Seeing that God has already forgiven the Christian ‘all trespasses’ (Col. 2:13), is it not needless, they ask, for him to continue to beg. God for forgiveness? This difficulty is self-created, through a failure to distinguish between the purchase of our pardon by Christ and its actual application to us.

True, full atonement for all our sins was made by Him, and at the cross their guilt was canceled. True, all our old sins are purged at our conversion (2 Peter 1:9). Nevertheless, there is a very real sense in which our present and future sins are not remitted until we repent and confess them to God.Therefore, it is both necessary and proper that we should seek pardon for them. (1 John 1:6-10). Even after Nathan administered assurance to David, saying, ‘The Lord also hath put away thy sins’ (2 Sam. 12:13), David begged God’s forgiveness (Ps. 51:1).

What do we ask for in this petition? First, we ask that God will not lay to our charge the sins we daily commit (Ps. 143:2). Second, we plead that God will accept the satisfaction of Christ for our sins and look upon us as righteous in Him. Some may object, ‘But if we be real Christians, He has already done so.’ True, yet He requires us to sue for our pardon, just as He said to Christ, ‘Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance’ (Ps. 2:8). God is ready to forgive but He requires us to call upon Him. Why? That His saving mercy may be acknowledged, and that our faith may be exercised!

Third, we beseech God for the continuance of pardon. Though we be justified, yet we must continue to ask; as with our daily bread, though we have a goodly store on hand, yet we beg for the continuance of it. Fourth, we plead for the sense of forgiveness or assurance of it, that sins may be blotted out of our conscience and from God’s book of remembrance. The effects of forgiveness are inner peace and access to God (Rom. 5:1, 2).

Forgiveness is not to be demanded as something due us, but requested as a mercy. ‘To the very end of life, the best Christian must come for forgiveness just as he did at first, not as a claimant of a right but as a suppliant of a favour’ (John Brown). Nor is this anywise inconsistent with, or a reflection upon, our complete justification (Acts 13:39). It is certain that the believer ‘shall not come into condemnation’ (John 5:24); yet instead of this truth leading him to the conclusion that he need not pray for the remission of his sins, it supplies him with the strongest possible encouragement to present such a petition.

Likewise, the Divine assurance that a genuine Christian shall persevere to the end, instead of laying a foundation for carelessness, is a most powerful motive to watchfulness and faithfulness. This petition implies a felt sense of sin, a penitent acknowledgement thereof, a seeking of God’s mercy for Christ’s sake, and the realization that He can righteously pardon us. Its presentation should ever be preceded by self-examination and humiliation.

-A.W. Pink, The Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer, 114-115.

Pink: Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is
the Kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 5:3).

It is indeed blessed to mark how [The Sermon on the Mount] opens. Christ began not by pronouncing maledictions on the wicked, but by pronouncing benedictions on His people. How like Him was this, to whom judgment is a strange work (Isa. 28:21, 22; cf. John 1:17). But how strange is the next word: ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’ are the poor—‘the poor in spirit.’ Who, previously, had ever regarded them as the blessed ones of earth? And who, outside believers, does so today? And how these opening words strike the keynote of all Christ’s subsequent teaching: it is not what a man does but what he is that is most important.

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit.’ What is poverty of spirit? It is the opposite of that haughty, self assertive, and self-sufficient disposition that the world so much admires and praises. It is the very reverse of that independent and defiant attitude that refuses to bow to God, that determines to brave things out, and that says with Pharaoh, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?’ (Exod. 5:2).

To be poor in spirit is to realize that I have nothing, am nothing, and can do nothing, and have need of all things. Poverty of spirit is evident in a person when he is brought into the dust before God to acknowledge his utter helplessness. It is the first experiential evidence of a Divine work of grace within the soul, and corresponds to the initial awakening of the prodigal in the far country when he ‘began to be in want’ (Luke 15:14).”

-A.W. Pink, The Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer, 15-16.

Pink: Thy Kingdom Come

“God’s name is manifestatively glorified here only in the proportion in which His Kingdom comes to us and His will is down by us…. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness’ (Matt. 6:33). But though men ought to glorify God’s name upon earth, yet of themselves they cannot do so. God’s Kingdom must first be set up in their hearts. God cannot be honored by us until we voluntarily submit to His rule over us.

‘Thy Kingdom come.’ Whose Kingdom is being referred to here? Obviously, it is that of God the Father, yet it is not to be thought of as something separate from the Kingdom of the Son. The Father’s Kingdom is no more distinct from Christ’s than ‘the Church of the living God’ (1 Tim. 3:15) is something other than the Body of Christ or than the ‘Gospel of God’ (Rom. 1:1) is something different from ‘the Gospel of Christ’ (Rom. 1:16), or than ‘the Word of Christ’ (Col. 3:16) is to be distinguished from the Word of God. But Christ does mean, by the words ‘Thy Kingdom,’ to distinguish sharply the Kingdom of God from the kingdom of Satan (Matt. 12:25-28), which is a kingdom of darkness and disorder. Satan’s kingdom is not only opposite in character, but it also stands in belligerent opposition to the Kingdom of God.

The Father’s Kingdom is, first and more generally, His universal rule, His absolute dominion over all creatures and things. ‘Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the Kingdom, O Lord, and Thou art exalted as Head above all’ (1 Chron. 29:11). Second, and more specifically, it is the external sphere of His grace on earth, where He is ostensibly acknowledged (see Matt. 13:11 and Mark 4:11 in their contexts). Third, and more definitely still, it is God’s spiritual and internal Kingdom, which is entered by regeneration, ‘Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God’ (John 3:5).

Now as the Father and the Son are one in nature, so is Their Kingdom the same; and thus it appears in each of its aspects. Concerning the aspect of providence, we read, ‘My Father worketh hitherto, and I work’ (John 5:17), signifying cooperation in the government of the world (Heb. 1:3). Christ now holds the mediatorial office of a King by virtue of His Father’s appointment (Luke 22:29) and establishment (Ps. 2:6). When the Kingdom is viewed very specifically as a reign of grace set up in the hearts of God’s people, it is rightly called both “the Kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 4:20) and ‘the Kingdom of His dear Son’ (Col. 1:13). Viewing the Kingdom in regard to its ultimate eternal glory, Christ says that He shall drink the fruit of the vine with us ‘in [His] Father’s Kingdom’ (Matt. 26:29), yet it is also called ‘the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ (2 Peter 1:11). Thus it should seem perfectly natural to us when we read these words: ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ’” (Rev. 11:15).

-A.W. Pink, The Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer, 91-93.

Chosen to Salvation

“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth”
2 Thessalonians 2:13

“There are three things here which deserve special attention. First, the fact that we are expressly told that God’s elect are “chosen to salvation”: Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries and equivocations of all who would make election refer to nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to “salvation” itself that God has chosen us. Second, we are warned here that election unto salvation does not disregard the use of appropriate means: salvation is reached through “sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” It is not true that because God has chosen a certain one to salvation that he will be saved willy-nilly, whether he believes or not: nowhere do the Scriptures so represent it. The same God who “chose unto salvation”, decreed that His purpose should be realized through the work of the spirit and belief of the truth. Third, that God has chosen us unto salvation is a profound cause for fervent praise. Note how strongly the apostle express this – “we are bound to give thanks always to God for you. brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation”, etc. Instead of shrinking back in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself.”

-A. W. Pink, Chosen to Salvation, http://calvinismisthegospel.com/chosen-to-salvation-by-a-w-pink-3/

God’s Providence Over All for His Elect

by A.W. Pink

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” — Romans 8:28

“These words teach believers that no matter what may be the number nor how overwhelming the character of adverse circumstances, they are all contributing to conduct them into the possession of the inheritance provided for them in heaven. How wonderful is the providence of God in over-ruling things most disorderly, and in turning to our good things which in themselves are most pernicious! We marvel at His mighty power which holds the heavenly bodies in their orbits; we wonder at the continually recurring seasons and the renewal of the earth; but this is not nearly so marvelous as His bringing good out of evil in all the complicated occurrences of human life, and making even the power and malice of Satan, with the naturally destructive tendency of his works, to minister good for His children.

‘All things work together for good.’ This must be so for three reasons. First, because all things are under the absolute control of the Governor of the universe. Second, because God desires our good, and nothing but our good. Third, because even Satan himself cannot touch a hair of our heads without God’s permission, and then only for our further good. Not all things are good in themselves, nor in their tendencies; but God makes all things work for our good. Nothing enters our life by blind chance: nor are they any accidents. Everything is being moved by God, with this end in view, our good. Everything being subservient to God’s eternal purpose, works blessing to those marked out for conformity to the image of the Firstborn. All suffering, sorrow, loss, are used by our Father to minister to the benefit of the His elect.”

– A.W. Pink (1886-1952), taken from: Comfort for Christianshttp://www.erictyoung.com/2012/06/02/god-makes-all-things-work-for-the-good-of-his-elect-a-w-pink/

Chosen to Salvation

“But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth”  2 Thessalonians 2:13

“There are three things here which deserve special attention. First, the fact that we are expressly told that God’s elect are “chosen to salvation”: Language could not be more explicit. How summarily do these words dispose of the sophistries and equivocations of all who would make election refer to nothing but external privileges or rank in service! It is to “salvation” itself that God has chosen us. Second, we are warned here that election unto salvation does not disregard the use of appropriate means: salvation is reached through “sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” It is not true that because God has chosen a certain one to salvation that he will be saved willy-nilly, whether he believes or not: nowhere do the Scriptures so represent it. The same God who “chose unto salvation”, decreed that His purpose should be realized through the work of the spirit and belief of the truth. Third, that God has chosen us unto salvation is a profound cause for fervent praise. Note how strongly the apostle express this – “we are bound to give thanks always to God for you. brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation”, etc. Instead of shrinking back in horror from the doctrine of predestination, the believer, when he sees this blessed truth as it is unfolded in the Word, discovers a ground for gratitude and thanksgiving such as nothing else affords, save the unspeakable gift of the Redeemer Himself.”

-A.W. Pink, Pamphlet: Chosen to Salvation
Complements of: http://networkedblogs.com/pE8C2