Monday, October 06, 2008

... so you want a reformation? recover the reverence of God in ministry

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. -Hebrews 12:2

by Thomas Shepard

Consider the glory of the person for whom I plead for love. What can you love besides Him? Where can you find any like unto Him? I know the glory of the Lord is not revealed, because the grass withers not, the flower fades not, the creature appears not in His withering vanity. Is. 40. But if the Lord would but open your eyes to see Him, this would win your hearts alone to Him.

Now, I shall single out only these five things, to give you a glimpse of his glory. Lift up thy heart, and say, "Lord, hide not now thy face from me."

1. He is the Prince of the kings of the earth. Rev. 1:5.
The glory of the world is a kingdom, the glorious diamond of that kingdom is a prince in his glory. Now, for a poor beggar to have an offer of love from the greatest prince in the world, would it not tempt her? Would she not forsake her lovers, and set her heart on him? Why, look what a distance there is between the poorest peasant and the highest prince; so base, and a thousand times, are all the princes of the world to Christ, whose dominion is from sea to sea, from sun to sun, who sets up and pulls down kings like counters, who rules their courts, their kingdoms, their hearts, and they do not do, they can not do, but what he will. Other kings are princes, are rulers of men; Christ Prince of Kings. Now, who would not be glad of his love? Who, having tasted death, is set down on the right hand of God on high, clothed with endless glory, who has kings in his chains, whose breath is not in his nostrils, whose favor is not for a day, but he lives and reigns forever. Now, does Christ reign? Is he a Lord, and in glory upon his throne? Methinks I see Jesus at the right hand of God. Your foolish affections have undone you, if you love him not.

2. He is appointed by the Father to be Judge of quick and dead at the last day, (John 5:22, 23,)
as well as to rule all now. So that if you do maintain enmity against him, he may let you alone, you may live in health and die in peace, in the eye of man, and in thine own eyes, too; yet there is a day coming he will break out of heaven, with a shout, and appear in the clouds, in the amazing glory of his Father, "with all his mighty angels, and all the dead shall hear his voice," and you shall appear before him with this body, when the heavens shall burn round about him, and the earth shall tremble under him, and all guilty eyes mourning and wailing because of him. Then you shall know what it is to despise him, and wish, O that I had loved him. Rev. 1:7. You that say you love him, yet by an impenitent heart pierce him, you shall wail, even so, Amen. Men do not see an end of these things, nor the glory of the Lord another day. Hence creatures are loved, and the Lord of glory is loathed. A great prince may not be so highly esteemed until he appears in his state. Prisoners would give any money (much more love) for the judge's favor.

3. He only is the procurer and author of all the good that ever thou didst suck out here,
though thou hast neither known him, nor been thankful to him. For look, as it was with angels, so it should have been with man; the wrath of God should have been poured out upon him, and on all the world, and creatures should have been tormentors of him, but that the Lord Jesus begged and bought the world. And hence (1 Tim. 4:10) called "Saviour of all, but chiefly of the elect." Micah 4:4, "In his days, men shall sit under vines and fig trees." So that if ever any creature ever did thee good, it was Jesus that put that sweetness in it, out of his fullness, and set it a work, sent it to thee, gave it thee to do thee good. Thou shouldst never have had wink of sleep, never restrained from one sin, but lived in blaspheming God, never have heard of a gospel but for Christ. and will you not love him? O ungrateful world! Unnatural generation of men! Why dost thou love any creature? It is for the paint of it and good in it. If there be so much in it, what is there in Christ that gave it, that dropped it into it? Never love him if there be any thing good that is not by him. Ps. 116:1, "The Lord hath heard my prayer; I will call on him as long as I live." Much more when the Lord hath delivered, and thou didst never seek to him.

4. He is the everlasting wonderment of saints in heaven.
The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon, which made her come to see him; but she before imagined but that which now she saw with her own eyes, and that rapt her out of herself. Here we hear of the Lord Jesus, of his beauty and glory, and this draws saints to him; and, when come, they see that which they never saw before, especially when in heaven. Then fall down in everlasting admiration at this mystery, for the blessedness of saints is to see Christ in his glory. John 17:24. Now, this lies in an infinite good; this can not be seen in a finite time. Hence saints shall be piercing their eyes deeper and deeper into this mystery, and shall ever see more and more, but never see all; and this is their joy and glory in heaven. Is it so? What think you, is Christ worthy of your love, or not? Look upon all the glory of the field of this world, you may see an end of all perfection, but never here.

5. He is the delights and bosom love of God himself. Prov. 8:30.
Hence John, when he came to set Christ out, (John 3:35,) "The Father loveth the Son." Now is it so; surely though you see not, taste not this good, yet there it is; now, tell me if this person do not challenge love, would you not be glad to have him? You will say, "Can he look upon such a wretch, embrace such a leper as I? No, surely, he will never do it."


Christinewjc said...

I just happened to be listening to "Beautiful News" by Matt Redman on K-LOVE radio via internet while reading this! The song went so perfectly with your beautiful post!

Beautiful News

Don P said...

At first I had been reading your posts this week thinking abut how many churches have left off teaching from the Old Testament (if not the Bible entirely). It was in reading the Old Testament that it first became clear to me the kind of reverence in worship that God expects. As I have been reflecting on this, I see how much I need to be reminded of this, also.

cyd said...

Dear Steve,

What a great relief and joy to know that we can come to this site and continually find refreshment in the Lord through the teaching of His Word!! Thank you for faithfully posting articles that point us to Christ.


not_helpless_ said...

What an encouraging post. Thanks, Mr. Camp. I first found your blog when I saw the Paul Tripp "s" word video for the first time. (I printed out that article for my pastor because to my knowledge he does not use the internet. It didn't print out much of the entry, and then I saw your blog rules about only being able to print out a few paragraphs. I cut off some of the bottom of the paper, and the words "I need to be challenged to be more like Jesus Christ and obedient to His Word" are the last words on the bottom of the printed out page).

Anyway; I was really discouraged after seeing that video. :-\ I struggle with assurance of salvation as it is, and after seeing that video, I was led to think: "Well, if John Piper is possibly on the road to apostacy, what does that mean for someone like me who was able to relate to some of the struggles that he's gone through in the issue of discouragement?" (i.e. in one of the videos on GracetoYou's site, John MacArthur and John Piper speak on a number of topics. when the topic of discouragement came up, i was more able to relate to how Piper felt in certain instances than I was able to relate to MacArthur in that issue, so I became concerned when I saw the Paul Tripp video after I saw that video).

(In light of books like "The Almost Christian" and a sermon by Jonathan Edwards called "Charity and its Fruits," we see that it's obvious that men and women can be used by God and still be lost. Therefore, I became concerned for Piper after seeing that video).

After seeing that video, I called up my pastor the next day to tell him of the things that I found on the internet about Paul T and Mark Driscoll. (My church is I called him for his counsel and I printed him out a bunch of articles and other info that I found (entries from "Slice of Laodicea," "Apprising Ministries," "Pulpit Magazine," some reviews of Mark's books, some comments on what Christians think of him, etc.). My pastor wants me to email GracetoYou, DesiringGod, Mark, and Paul in order to ask them some questions and things of that nature. Some of my friends who are more seasoned Christians than I still count Piper as a brother, but they just think what he did was foolish. At least we know that in time, more bad fruit will be revealed if he continues "going down this road," so to speak.

By the way, awhile ago, one of my friends told me that "Steve Camp" was a music artist. I found your blog (I think through Google) and clicked on it in order to view the Paul Tripp video. (I don't remember what I was specifically searching in Google for, but I just know that I found your page). Anyway; I eventually made the connection that you were the same Steve Camp who is a former Christian singer/songwriter. I checked out some of your stuff on youtube; I like some of the slower songs that I've found. =)

God bless you, bro.

your friend,