Saturday, 22 October 2011

THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE IS A DEADLY SPIRIT

“Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?”
(Psalm 139:21)

Ah, the spirit of the age is a deadly spirit. A man may now almost profess anything so long as he is sincere; and so long as his conduct is moderately straight, nothing must be said, nothing.

O may we care for God’s honour more than for anything else – for the Person, the immaculate, the mysterious, the glorious, the complex, the immortal Person of Immanuel, God with us.

May we hold the immortality of His sacred humanity from the moment He was conceived.

May we contend for and hold fast these merciful truths, without which we must be undone for ever and ever.

Well, do you care for these things?

I am speaking to the wise virgins, God’s people.

Do you care for the honour of God?

Then take up your sword!

By James Popham

Saturday, 24 September 2011

RIGHTEOUSNESS IMPUTED

Righteousness imputed!

This makes the person beautiful in God's sight, because it makes him just. Sinner, this must be your title. This is your title to bliss. This must be your perfection, and if you have any desire after Christ, may I say this to you. Do entreat the Lord to reveal in you the righteousness of Christ, for true salvation, vital godliness, is more than a matter of idea. There must be this, shall I say this substitutionary thing, perfect righteousness, and this is Christ. Hence the name that is given Him: "This is the name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness." (Jeremiah 23:6)

If you want thorns in your dying pillow, live carelessly, live as your natural mind dictates, be careless of your profession. If you want comfort and peace on your dying bed, beg of God to reveal in you Jesus Christ as your righteousness, and if you get that revelation it will make you very careful about your walk.

You will want to please Him who has made you acceptable to Himself, made you beautiful even as He Himself if. "For as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17).

This is His righteousness; this is the sinner's righteousness, this is His beauty. All in all. No thread of human goodness will ever be added to this. Not a single deed that a child of God does, however holy, will ever be added to this righteousness. By the help of God, I will shut the creature out as much as I can; yea, the Scripture does it. He is all righteousness. Here is our plea, here is our title, here is our beauty, here is our comfort.

By James K. Popham

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

THIS GLORIOUS GOSPEL

This glorious gospel, is the gospel of the imputation of sin to a suitable sinless person, the Saviour.

In this epistle it is said, God "hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew not sin." (2 Corinthians 5:21)

There was a complete transference, a mutual transference; the transferring of guilt to the Saviour, and the transferring of His righteousness to the sinner; "that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

Take this out of the gospel and what is there left that is worth notice?

Take this out of the gospel and how could a wretch who feels his wretchedness in sin have any hope in the mercy of God?

Such is a terrible gospel; no gospel at all if imputation is taken away.

Eliminate this doctrine of the imputation of sin to Christ, and the imputation of righteousness to the sinner, and we are all as good as in hell; there is nothing for us but perdition.

When a sinner, brought by the Spirit of God into solemn and deep despair of himself and of his own righteousness, looks on the Lord Jesus, and adoringly and wonderingly believes in the imputation that removes from himself all sin and brings to him nothing but righteousness, he is complete in Christ. That is the gospel word.

"And ye are complete in Him." (Colossians 2:10)

Completely justified and completely saved.

Glorious gospel!

If this but shines into our hearts what a happy people we shall be!

By James Popham

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

A DIFFICULTY RESOLVED


There are some difficulties in the way. One difficulty is this: An honest conscience, an instructed heart is so sensible of the ease with which one may be deceived by one’s own heart, as to feel it a great hindrance; and yet it helps. We may be searching and trying, weighing and testing, looking for a repentance that we do not feel, a broken heart which we have not got, faith which we fear we do not possess, feelings of contrition, of love, of spirituality of mind, which are far above us; and we may say, “I shall never reach that kingdom, never get into it. I am carnal, sold under sin; what shall I do?” Not finding the graces of the Spirit flourishing in us, we are apt to conclude that we have never been born again, never had the Holy Spirit and never tasted that the Lord is gracious.

I believe the tempter is here. He endeavours to keep before the mind the graces of the Spirit as a foundation.

What a mistake he causes us to make!

How happy would some of us be at certain moments if we could but feel repentance and faith and hope and love and a broken heart!

How gladly would we, as we think, go to God if such and such graces were flourishing in us!

We little suspect what I believe to be the truth, that the devil and our own hearts are together in plotting against us, trying to make of graces, which flow from Christ, a foundation.

He is the Foundation for graceless sinners.

“Sinners are high in His esteem,
And sinners highly value Him.”


By J.K. Popham - 1925

Thursday, 11 August 2011

BOOK REVIEW: MERCIES OF A COVENANT GOD - BY J.K. POPHAM

Mercies of a Covenant God - By John Warburton;

Hardback; 255 pages;

Published by Gospel Standard Trust Publications.

We are thankful for this so gracious, so God-honouring a book, displaying, as it does, in a very lively manner, the sovereign love of God the Father in election, the efficacy of the blood of God the Son, with which He purchased the church, and the mercy of God the Holy Ghost in the washing of regeneration.

The simple, original, and in some ways powerful narrative of the dealings of his covenant God with one who was designed to receive grace for the ministry, for the "obedience to the faith" of many precious souls, is very attractive, and we hope may be the means of much good in the church of God.

In the first place, it tells of the wonderful, the clear work of the Holy Ghost in quickening, converting, and separating John Warburton from sin and the world. For
indeed, before this divine operation, he walked according to the course of this world; to use his own words, he...

"was given up to all manner of wickedness, and so continued until I arrived at that time and place God had purposed, not to offer, but to call by grace.

'To change the heart, renew the will,
And turn the feet to Zion's hill.'
"


We most heartily welcome this dear book, because, if we have "the seeing eye," we shall see the great works of the Lord, which are "sought out of all them that have pleasure therein;" see not a natural religion, not a towardness to God, but a mighty, a radical, an inward change, a powerful life, whose source, and nature, and end he himself knew not for a long time. It was eternal life which wrought, bubbled, boiled over, wrought according to its own nature, and manifested itself by its appetite, raising the forlorn sinner towards its glorious Source and End. Like its divine Author, it "could not be hid."

Mr. Warburton's convictions of sin were deep, too deep for a human gospel; the wounds could not be slightly healed. The holy, just, and good law handled him severely, to use one man's word, it "killed his heart;" or as Paul expresses the matter, "I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Romans 7:9).

And as the killing work was powerful and clear, so was the blessed deliverance. Mr. Roby, whom Mr. Warburton was hearing, read a precious text, "Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive; Thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them" (Psalm 68:18).

The word was the word of a King; it was not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; and it was received in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.

Writing of it, Mr. Warburton says,

"O the wonder and the glory that shone into my soul! O the love, the peace, and joy that broke into my heart as the words came out of his mouth! They were truly sweeter than ten thousands of gold and silver."


Thus the man who died by the operation of the law in him, Romans 7:9, became dead to the law by the body of Christ, Romans 7:4.

Let it suffice, then, to say that he received a divine call to preach the gospel, that he was anointed thereto, that constant and heavy trials in providence, and constant and remarkable deliverances were commanded for him, and that in an eminent degree his ministry was owned of God at Trowbridge, and that his end was peace.

We cannot forbear giving our readers a beautiful ascription of praise and glory to the Trinity which Mr. Warburton penned after one of his many marked deliverances.

"And why, O my soul, art thou not amongst them [the false prophets]?

Is it because thou hast merited His favour more than they?

O no; it is because it pleased the God and Father of all mercies and all comfort that it should be so. Blessings and honours be unto Thee, O holy God the Father, that ever Thy love and choice was fixed upon such a brat of hell as I.

Honours, blessings, majesty, praises, and glories for ever crown Thy head, O holy God the Son, equal with the Father, and one with Him, that ever Thou didst condescend to take my nature into union with Thy divine Person, didst obey and righteously fulfil all the demands of the holy law, and didst satisfy divine Justice for all my cursed sins; didst conquer death and him that hath the power of death, even the devil; and hath ascended up on high, and taken possession of the inheritance, and ever liveth to make intercession for my poor soul.

And O Thou holy God, Thou blessed Spirit, one with the Father and the Son, blessings, honours, majesty and glories for ever be unto Thee, that ever Thou didst pick up my poor soul out of the ruins of the Fall; didst kill me to all works of righteousness which I could do; didst reveal justifying righteousness and pardoning blood to my heart, and didst bear Thy solemn witness to my spirit that I am an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ.

O Thou that hast preserved me from falling a prey to the world, the flesh, and the devil all these years up to this moment; that hast lifted up a standard in my soul again and again when the floods of horrid, awful, and unspeakable blasphemies have plunged my poor, trembling soul into such despair that I have many times given it all up as a lost matter!

O holy, blessed Trinity of Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, one God, whom reason cannot fathom, but faith believes, love embraces, and praise adores, bless Thy holy Name. It is in Thy light that I see light; it is Thy smiles that make my smiles; it is Thy strength and power made manifest in me that holds me up and makes me strong; it is Thy Spirit of grace and supplications poured into my heart, that brings my soul to pour it out unto Thee; it is Thy precious gift of faith, and Thy precious power that draws it into exercise, which enables my soul to come with confidence and say, "My Lord and my God;" it is Thy precious presence as my Father, my Friend, and my eternal All, that changes a dungeon into a palace.

Without Thee I am more and more confident that I can do nothing. O, ever keep me, ever teach me, ever uphold me. O, never leave me to myself, my dear Lord, for two are better than one."
(Page 138)


Our concluding word to our readers is, obtain the book, and may God make the reading a blessing to you.

By J.K. Popham

Thursday, 28 July 2011

THE BIBLE "IS" THE WORD OF GOD

Do not be carried away by the deceiving statement that the Bible "contains" the Word of God.

Reflect on it. A container is different from what it contains; it holds something which itself is not.

We say the Bible IS the Word of God.

He gave it.

He spoke it.

It is infallible.

Men will be judged by it. It is the last appeal. It is God's very and immediate Word. By it every man will stand or fall in the last grand size.

By J.K. Popham

Friday, 1 April 2011

SLUMBERING AND SLEEPING

A warning given by J.K. Popham in a sermon in 1900 on the wise and foolish virgins.

-----------------------------------

“They all slumbered and slept.”

Ah, there is much in that word of Solomon; the sluggard calls for a little more sleep and a little more slumber, a little more folding the hands to sleep (Proverbs 6:9-10).

And what follows?

So his poverty cometh like an armed man, as one that travelleth (Proverbs 6:11).

There the lazy creature is. Ah, I know him.

Do you?

He thinks it much to take his hand out of his bosom and convey food to his mouth, so indolent is he. Slothfulness and poverty are companions, and rags are the complement. Therefore, when you look at your soul covered with rags, when you perceive death and poverty and emptiness in your spirit, turn – and God help you, O believer in this sleep, this slumber – turn and rise from your bed.

She said of old when the Lord came near: “My children are with me in bed” (Luke 11:7); “I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?” (Song of Solomon 5:3). You know the result; and some of us have experienced it...

This is part, and only part, of the slumbering and sleeping of the wise virgins. They have vessels of oil, but the lamps are almost gone out. It is dark night; God absent; truth, more or less, absent; hence this condition. One more point and then I will turn to the second part.

There was a time when some of us felt a warm, burning zeal in our souls for the honour of God; it was dear to us. If anyone impugned the truth, O how it stirred us; if anyone seemed to contravene any word of God and go in any way that appeared to tarnish His honour, how it stirred us up!

“Do not I hate them ... that hate Thee? and am not I grieved with those that
rise up against Thee?”

(Psalm 139:21)

But now how is it?

Ah, the spirit of the age is a deadly spirit. A man may now almost profess anything so long as he is sincere; and so long as his conduct is moderately straight, nothing must be said, nothing.

O may we care for God’s honour more than for anything else – for the Person, the immaculate, the mysterious, the glorious, the complex, the immortal Person of Immanuel, God with us.

May we hold the immortality of His sacred humanity from the moment He was conceived.

May we contend for and hold fast these merciful truths, without which we must be undone for ever and ever.

Well, do you care for these things as you once did?

I am speaking to the wise virgins, God’s people.

Do you care for the honour of God as you once cared for it?

Now I just commend these considerations, these points to you. If you are inside these remarks, call them charges if you will, do this – seek grace to fall under them; do not resist, do not object that the man is in a bad spirit, that he is gloomy. Any sort of thing the devil will cause you to say, if he can, to blunt the edge of truth, and take off the point of conviction; but O fall down, and confess, confess.

We turn now to the next part, the sleep of the foolish virgins, this is the sleep of death. They are dead in sins, dead in a profession, dead in formalities.

Some here have that form of truth which we hold here, by reason of their constant attendance.

Such everywhere are to be found.

The land is full of these virgins. But as to any conviction of their state, any cry for mercy, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” as to such exercises, they are dead, fast asleep.

O sinner, if the Bridegroom comes in some judgment, in some providence, or in the hour of death and awakens you only then, it will be a most awful awakening – a terrible awakening, never again to be lost in slumber. Never again will your conscience be soothed in guilty slumber; never again will your mind be eased by the soporific [sleep-inducing drug] of a wicked sleep, never.

This is the sleep of death, the sleep of sin, the sleep of error; it is the sleep of guilt, the sleep of an unbroken condition of death, of alienation from God, from the life of God by wicked works. May the Lord awaken such sleepers in mercy and for the purposes of mercy, if it can be His holy will.

“At midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.”
(Matthew 25:6)

There is coming a time when there will be an awakening. May the Lord in His kindness awaken His poor, sleeping saints to a closer exercise, a more gracious believing, a warmer love, a more vigorous hope. If it can be His gracious will, may He do it for me and for you, my beloved friends.

I am often in these days depressed and discouraged. We are in dark days. There is no denying it on the part of those who see things in the light of God’s truth, who see and know what vital religion is. The Bridegroom is tarrying. There is a grievous withholding of the Holy Ghost, of gracious fear, of heavenly communications; and the sad effect, the guilty effect upon us, is this sleeping and slumbering.

May the Lord have mercy upon us poor, miserable creatures.