(Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism, Vol.1. part 12) The Name Jesus Lord's Day 11 Psalter No. 421 st. 6 Read Isaiah 7 Psalter No. 203 st. 1, 2, 5 Psalter No. 425 st. 3 Psalter No. 3 st. 2, 3, 4 Beloved! With much clearness and power Isaiah has foretold the coming of Christ in the flesh, saying, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel." It was to the wicked King Ahab, who had built his hope of deliverance upon the covenant with the King of Assyria, that the prophet spoke this word of the Lord. Rezin of Syria, and Pekah, the son of Remaliah, the King of Israel, had gone up to war against Jerusalem and Ahab could not prevail against them. In one day 120,000 of the men of Ahab fell, while 200,000 women, sons and daughters were carried away captive by Israel, and the land was plundered. Moreover the Edomites and the Philistine had invaded the South. Was it any wonder that the hearts of Ahab and of his people were moved as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind? At his wit's end, Ahab made a covenant with Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria, which took all the gold and silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasures of the king's house. How very glad Ahab was to have received the mighty king of Assyria as his ally! This clever act of statesmanship saved him! But now Isaiah came to him with the message that he must trust in the Lord. Evidently the prophet had a good message, for he came at God's command to Ahab with his son Shear-jashub, whose name means "the Lord saves." No mighty ruler, but the Lord shall save His people, regardless of the abominable sins they have committed. The Lord condescends so far, that He is willing to confirm His promise with a sign. Ahab may ask for a sign either in the depth or in the height. But Ahab declined to do so. What business was it of Isaiah? The king shall take care of the matters of state, let the prophet confine himself to religion! Very piously but with bitter hatred Ahab said, "I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord." And then, when Ahab cut off all divine help, the Lord gave a prophecy, "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign, 'Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Emmanuel'." The faithful Jehovah shall, in spite of the hardness of Ahab, save His people. Judah cannot disappear until Shiloh comes to deliver His people from their enemies, but that deliverance is not the work of men. God shall provide a Branch, Who shall sit upon David's throne forever. A virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, shall bear a Son without intervention of a man. The Son of God became the Son of man. His name shall be called Emmanuel, that is, God with us. Already in the 5th and 6th Lord's Days, the instructor showed us clearly that only such a Mediator could save Adam's sons and daughters from their state of deep misery. He only can and shall save His people. Therefore at the annunciation of His birth the angel already called His name Jesus, that is, Savior. The eleventh Lord's Day of the Heidelberg Catechism for which I now ask your attention speaks of that name Jesus. Lord's Day 11 Q. 29: Why is the Son of God called Jesus, that is a Savior? A. Because He saveth us, and delivereth us from our sins; and likewise, because we ought not to seek, neither can find salvation in any other. Q. 30: Do such then believe in Jesus the only Savior, who seek their salvation and welfare of saints, of themselves, or anywhere else? A. They do not; for though they boast of Him in words, yet in deeds they deny Jesus the only deliverer and Savior; for one of these two things must be true, that either Jesus is not a complete Savior; or that they, who by a true faith receive this Savior, must find all things in Him necessary to their salvation. The name Jesus is given to the Son of God I Because He alone saves, II So that for our salvation we reject all else, III Because in Him by faith His people have everything. I The twelve articles of faith are divided into 3 parts. The first part of God the Father and our creation has been clarified in Lord's Days 9 and 10. Lord's Day 11 begins the explanation of what is confessed regarding God the Son and our redemption. No less than nine Lord's Days are devoted to this important part. Three Lord's Days teach us about the person of the Mediator by explaining His names. The next three speak of the state of His humiliation, while the last three speak of His exaltation. Lord's Day 11, then, considers the name Jesus. Jesus is the personal name of the Mediator, as Christ is His official name. Other names are also given to the Messiah in the Word of God. He is Emmanuel, God with us; the Son of God; the Son of Man; and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. The name Jesus is a summary of all these names. This name was given to the Mediator at the command of God. "Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins." In accordance with that, the angel spoke of Mary to Joseph, "She shall bear a Son and thou shalt call His name Jesus." Therefore "when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, His name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb." (Luke 2:27). During His sojourn on earth He was known by that name. Above His cross was written: "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." The apostles preached in that name. The dying Stephen cried out: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," and to Paul He appeared saying, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutes." And till the end of time remission of sins will be preached in His name. The name Jesus is the Mediator's personal name. This name was commonly used among the Jews. We also find it in the New Testament. A helper of Paul bore this name. (Col. 4:11). We also read of the sorcerer Bar-Jesus, (Acts 13:6) and in Heb. 4:8, Joshua is called Jesus, for the name Joshua, as also Hoses, means the same as Jesus. Joshua was a type of the Savior, both Joshua the successor of Moses and Joshua, the High Priest. Moses could not bring the people into Canaan. He himself would not enter Canaan for he had struck the rock instead of speaking to it. He had spoken, but entirely wrong, for in that speaking he had robbed God of His honour. Moses said, "Hear now, ye rebels; must *we* fetch you water out of this rock?" *We*, Moses and Aaron? But could *they* do so? Does not Paul teach us that this miracle that water flowed from the rock was possible only because Christ was the rock of His people: "The spiritual rock that followed them was Christ." But Moses did not point to Him; on the contrary, He was pushed aside, and thus he struck a blow to the true salvation, to the true rest of Israel. Therefore the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Because ye believed Me not to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them." Moses, the representative of the law, was not able to give rest. His successor Joshua would lead the weary tribes into the rest, destroying the mighty Canaanites, and taking their inheritance. Thus Joshua was a type of the Lord Jesus. He crushes the head of every enemy, and brings His elect into the spiritual and eternal rest. The High Priest Joshua also points us to Christ. In Zecharia 3 he is pictured as standing before God, clothed in filthy garments. The people are all unclean, and in the high priest the people are justified in spite of Satan, according to God's good pleasure. That was possibly only because the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, and would one day in our flesh take upon himself the sins of all His people. He was the Joshua who stood before God in filthy garments, not for His own sins, but for the sins of His people. He paid the debt for their salvation. His name is Jesus, for He saves His people from their sins. Saving them is so great a work that He alone is able to do it, and we cannot seek nor find any salvation with anyone else. He who was given of the Father, He alone is the Savior, excluding everything of the creature. "There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." He only merited salvation and He Himself applies it to His people. For saving Adam's posterity not only means to merit salvation, but also demands the application of the merited salvation to the heart of him for whom it is merited. That is overlooked too much in our days, not only by those who teach that God wants all men to be saved and that Jesus died for all men, or worse, by those who scorn, ignore or reject Jesus as the Nazarene; but also by many, although they emphasize that there is salvation in none other (for it was merited only by His suffering and death), yet in practice they diverge so much that it seems while praising Him with the mouth, they deny Him by their deeds. Their constant advice is, "You must go to Jesus with your sins; you must accept Him and believe in Him. It is your own fault if you remain outside, for Jesus calls you, so go to Him", etc. A right professor of the truth will never deny that if a person is lost it is his own fault, and that the condemnation shall be doubly heavy for those who have lived under the offer of grace; but on the other hand, it is of free grace if anyone comes to Christ. "No man comets to the Father but by Me, and no man comets unto Me except the Father which sent Me, draw him", said Christ Himself. A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. We cannot and will not come to Jesus even though He has been preached to us from childhood, and although we confess Him according to the Scriptures, we shall never seek life in Him, nor go to Him in truth with our sins. He merited salvation perfectly; not a mite more shall ever be demanded; no sacrifice shall ever again be required. What would this benefit us, dead in sin and full of enmity as we are against free grace, if this merited salvation were not applied to us. The application of that salvation is also the work of Christ. He finds His people in the state of death, and there He calls them by their names. The saving work of the Lord does not commence in our souls when we ask and seek timidly for Him, but when in enmity against God we hasten on to our destruction, without Christ, and without hope. There the Lord takes those He has purchased with His blood as a fire brand out of the burning. There He Himself applies that salvation to them, and they shall never be lost. But oh, how very necessary that Christ Himself shall work the application and also the appropriation by faith, so that the soul shall acknowledge Christ as the perfect Savior. How often we see in the lives of God's children that the heir, though he be lord of all, differs nothing from a servant, because he is under tutors and governors. Here those heirs mistake the meriting, there the applying. Here they seek peace in their prayers and tears and instructive reading and sweet communion with God's people. They think it is well with them when they are in a sweet frame, as though God's justice can be satisfied with anything less than the righteousness of Christ; and they lose hope as soon as the sweet frame passes. Thus many souls are held in the bands of unbelief, and are prevented from coming to Jesus, in whom alone their salvation and redemption can be found. Oh, if the Lord did not apply salvation, the poor soul oppressed by shame and guilt, would wander away from Christ to eternal perdition. Yet He leads us upon ways and paths that are entirely unknown to us; and He uncovers us and causes us to complain bitterly that it is becoming worse with us, and we are losing hope until we are brought to our wit's end, and guilty of death, we throw away our money as of no value on the market of free grace, and learn to know Him who reveals Himself to us as the only and complete Savior. There is salvation in none other. Then He becomes precious above all others. Our soul pants and thirsts after Him as a heart pants after the water brooks. How can we leave Him? He has the words of eternal life. Oh, such souls would want to cry after Him all their lives, that they might receive Him as their only salvation. However, they find that their arms are too short to receive Jesus as their complete Savior. Their claim upon Jesus is so furiously contested, the question is raised whether He ever paid for their sins, and they have no might against that great multitude. Oh, could they but come to Jesus, could they accept Him! Nothing is more impossible than that, and it becomes more and more impossible. All those things that formerly gave them hope, that serious seeking, those heartfelt longings, the earnest pleading upon God's promises, that listening to the Word with fruit for their soul, and so many other things have all disappeared, making place for dullness, and lukewarmness and even enmity against free grace. Truly, if anything of man were necessary to attain salvation, these souls could give up all hope of being saved. Oh, what an unspeakable blessing: Christ Himself applies salvation, as He has also merited it. He cuts them off from their old root and grafts them into Himself. He is able to apply it since He has conquered death and the grave, and no enemy can hinder Him in His work. Satan's head is bruised, nor can the enmity of our heart prevail over His love. God's elect shall glory that they were reconciled with God as enemies, and that this Mediator is their Jesus because He saves His people from their sins, and moreover, that no salvation can be sought or found elsewhere. He saves, yes, He alone, by having us here in this life lose ourselves more and more and lean upon Him, and later by leading us by His power through death to eternal glory, so that in never-ending song we shall acknowledge with the innumerable hosts of those purchased by His blood, "Thou art Jesus, Savior, for Thou hast merited and applied salvation to us." His people shall forever ascribe to Him all the glory to which He, as the only and complete Savior is entitled. If already in this life we shall acknowledge this Jesus by faith, it is necessary, as we shall now hear in the second place, II to reject all other help to our salvation. Question 30 speaks of this very clearly: "Do such then believe in Jesus the only Savior, who seek their salvation of saints, of themselves or anywhere else?" And the definite answer of the instructor is: "They do not, for though they boast of Him in words, yet in deeds they deny Jesus, the only Deliverer and Savior." There are saints; they are in heaven, and even upon earth by the renewal of the Holy Spirit. Are God's children not called a holy nation, a peculiar people, that shows forth the praises of Him Who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light? But those saints were saved only by Jesus through grace. Saints as the Roman Catholic Church have are nothing; people who by their good works enjoy special favour with God, and can "commend" us before God, or have a treasury of merit, do not exist. Those saints in themselves are also condemnable before God. Hence, as our confession says, it is dishonoring instead of honoring the saints, when we seek our welfare and salvation from them, and kneel before their images crying "Holy Mary, or Peter, or who it may be, pray for us." The Roman Catholics indeed deny Him, the only deliverer and Savior, although they boast of Him in words. They have neither part nor lot in Him. Mary did not rejoice in her holiness, but called Jesus her Savior. Hence he who seeks his welfare and salvation with the saints, denies the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only and true Savior. Outside of Him no salvation can be sought or found. Everyone feels that this question is directed against the Roman Catholics, for with their words they praise Jesus, but by their actions they deny Him. Oh no, they do not say that Jesus is not the Savior, but they deny Him as a complete Savior and they also teach that we need an intercessor with that Savior. They would honour the Savior so highly that we, poor sinners, cannot approach Him. We must have someone to intercede with Him for us, and that can be done by the saints who excel in holiness and have entered into glory. Those angels and saints are special favorites with Him, and therefore we must call upon them so that by their intercession we can be saved. Tell me, can Jesus as Savior be denied more by any other means? Does not all that is within Him yearn to save sinners? For whom else did He give Himself unto the death on the cross, than for lost sinners? How were the saints saved otherwise than by this Savior alone, without any of their good works, hence as miserable, condemnable sinners before God? On what then could they rest their plea? Away then with the doctrine of worshipping angels and saints! It is a denial of Jesus' perfect atonement and of the eternal love with which He has loved and always shall love His own, so that He shall save them freely. Away with that cursed doctrine! Scripture teaches us so differently: "Abraham is ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledges us not: Thou, O Lord, art our Father, our Redeemer; Thy name is from everlasting." When Cornelius, the centurion of Caesarean, fell at Peter's feet, the apostle took him up and said, "I myself also am a man." Paul and Barnabas also refused the honour the heathens of Lystra would have heaped upon them, rending their clothes and crying, "We also are men of like passions with you." When John on Patmos would worship the angel, he was reprimanded: "See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren; worship God." Hence, saints may not be worshipped, nor angels. Jesus is the only and complete Savior of miserable sinners. Yet in practice we are so Roman Catholic. Here we cling to a dear child of God, there we lean upon a god fearing father or mother in heaven, yonder ... but if you are no stranger to your innate enmity against free grace, you feel that in thousands of ways we deny in deeds the only Savior Jesus, although we boast of Him in words. We must be loosed from all creatures to lean only upon the Lord. Neither can the angels be our saviors. They have not suffered for us. They are of another nature than we. Upon God's command they will protect the elect, but they are unable to do anything toward our salvation. Whoever seeks the salvation of their soul with them is deceiving himself. Nor may we seek our welfare and salvation elsewhere. God fearing parents or other relatives or friends can do nothing for our real welfare. Cursed be the man that maketh flesh his arm. There is but one Savior who can save us. Neither with the saints may we seek salvation, nor with the angels, nor with ourselves, nor with anything else. Yet we are always inclined to do so. "Of ourselves." Think of that Pharisaical life. Paul is a clear example. He thought he was pleasing God when he boasted above others that trusted in the flesh, that is, in self; he was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless." He sought all his salvation in self. How many are like Saul, who consider their baptism, and family, and legal zeal, or clear understanding of the way of salvation as their Savior. You meet people who have no knowledge of spiritual life, yet have such a clear understanding of the Word and the way of God's children, that they make you think of those described in Hebrews 6: they were enlightened, have tasted of the heavenly gift, were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come. Yet they never have the least need in their heart for the only Savior Jesus. Let everyone take heed, for outside of Jesus there is no way to life. With our own manufactured saviors we will be eternally lost. We must give up all that is ours if we would trust that only Savior, for He does not divide His work with us; He is our Savior alone, or He is not our Savior at all. Oh, how hard it is for God's people to honour Him as such, and how often we perceive that we have many saviors. The words of the daughters of Jerusalem are not strange to us: "What is thy Beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost charge us so?" We often turn aside by the flocks of Jesus' companions. It is as if we had other lovers of our soul, as if we knew other shepherds, and other flocks. That causes us to remain hidden; we cannot come out, our heart lacks liberty; we cannot attain a firm foundation for our soul, and we are beaten by the waves of doubt and unbelief. Often we seek salvation where it is not to be found. We must be taken off so many foundations, while we need the Holy Spirit to cut us off from everything so that we will truly trust in Christ. We must die every day if we shall have some exercise of faith in Jesus as our own Savior. That exercise of faith is of the most importance. I repeat this also for their sake who seek their life in their emotions. We are headed for other times. Since the intellectual view of Scripture has become hollow and is rejected, men want a religion with feeling; religion must have warmth. Already men are looking to the East, where men's mentality is so much warmer and deeper than with us superficial, cool Westerners. Sadhu Sundar Sing (formerly a kind of Buddhistic Nazarite) had to come out of far away India to tell Holland Christians what God had taught him of salvation. Has God then in Netherlands no more people that know and fear Him? Could they not tell better, and without the fallacies of Sundar Sing about heaven and hell, what their soul has experienced of God and of divine matters? But men want a feeling that is not based upon Scripture; a blessed feeling, but not salvation in Jesus. That foolish religiosity has something to say to us. They who seek salvation in that dethrone the Savior, deny Him. I pray you, do not rest upon a tear and a strong emotion. Can we be saved without Jesus? Awake, thou that sleepest! We, lost sons of Adam, must be reconciled with God by the blood of the Lamb. There is no other way, no other way needs to be opened. In Jesus alone lies all salvation. "He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life, and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." That makes salvation possible for the most wretched sinner, who sees no way of escape; to whom all seems empty; who can not live on the tastes of God's goodness and mercy, however much they refresh the soul. The justice of God demands satisfaction which cannot be rendered by previous experiences, nor by our emotions, which have no foundation. God's holy majesty cannot allow us in His fellowship because of our sin. Christ invites the weary and the thirsty ones, those that cannot keep alive their own soul, to find their salvation outside of self, in Jesus. Oh, that our heart would thirst after Him. Come ye to the waters, buy without money, and without price. Nothing of ours need be added, no sigh, no tear, nothing! Jesus merited salvation and applies it. We ourselves are standing in the way. We are too rich; we have too much to be reconciled to God as an enemy. May the discovering grace of God take away all of self, making room in our hearts for Him Whose name is Jesus, because He saves His people from their sins. Never shall we be able to fathom the depth that lies in the Name Jesus. Every time we are shown from another side what that name means, for always anew our own sinful self reveals itself; it refuses to walk the way of grace, but turns to sin and corruption. Therefore that name becomes more and more precious to us, and the wonder becomes greater that the Son of God became the Savior, and that for us. He glorifies His power more and more for the mortification of our members that are on earth. He not only is the ground of our justification, but in Him is also deliverance from sin. He would have His people know more and more their need of Him, so that with all the evil that continually besets them they may find forgiveness in Him and may be freed from their bonds. In Him, yea, in Him alone they shall glory by faith; His name is Jesus, for He saves His people from their sin. Thus He begins here on earth to be glorified in and by His people and there will be in them a growing in the knowledge of the Savior, that causes them to cry out in adoration, "Thou, Lord Jesus, hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood." Here already they taste the beginning of eternal joy, which shall be complete when they cast their crown before Him and will honour Him perfectly to all eternity. He bears the name Jesus, because, as we now consider in the third place, III His people have all things in Him by faith. How simply but very truly the Catechism says, "For one of these two things must be true, that either Jesus is not a complete Savior; or that they, who by a true faith receive this Savior, must find all things in Him necessary to their salvation." The Roman Catholic Church and all others who deny man's state of death, deny that Jesus is a complete Savior. They take the crown from His head and place it on theirs. They ascribe the attaining of salvation partly or completely to their free will and good works. Oh, how they will find themselves deceived! The Lord Jesus is the only and complete Savior. Nothing, not even the least bit of man can serve for his salvation. He is the Savior, because as Mediator He both merited and applied salvation. He delivers His people from the greatest evil, and makes them partakers of the supreme good. He delivers from sin. The angel announced to Joseph, "He shall save His people from their sins," and therefore this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, sinners who are condemnable before God, and live without Him in the world; sinners who neither can nor want to do aught but add sin to sin, thus increasing the gulf between themselves and God unto eternal perdition. They do not want to know the way of salvation, but are bitterly opposed to free grace. Adam's sons and daughters Jesus saves, them He purchased with His blood, for in eternity He offered Himself to His Father as their Mediator. To them He applies salvation when He stops them on their way of sin and fells them with His Spirit, and to them He reveals the eternal Savior in the measure in which they know themselves to be sinners. The important thing for everyone is to become a sinner before God, for he who does not know himself as a sinner, knows not Jesus as a Savior. Becoming a sinner before God is something quite different than merely realizing that we do wrong things, and are often inclined to wickedness. Such a realization is found in some measure in heathens that have some sense of justice (Rom. 1:19, 20) and that sense may certainly be supposed to be in all professors of the truth. But the true knowledge of our misery is the work of the Holy Spirit, and is quite different. It stirs up fear of God in us, and yet not slavish fear, although the soul is often held in bands, but rather filial fear that leads to God, and causes one to confess his sins to God uprightly and with sorrow. That sinner has to do with God, with the implacable righteous One, with the spotlessly Holy One. That makes sin so dreadful. In the light of man's own reason and conscience, sin can be so desperately great, but what must sin then be in the light of God's glorious perfections. "Woe is me! for I am undone," called Isaiah, and would not every uncovered sinner cry out about himself, "I am undone"? Sinners shall be saved, and whatever we think we are more than sinners, prevents us from knowing the complete Savior. Notice the Bible saints, and let the children of God bear witness out of their own experience, whether it was not thus. To the degree that Jesus had become a more precious, more necessary and more complete Savior, to that degree they had learned to know themselves as sinners. That shall be the only hope of salvation for all that people. "He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities." He *saves*. He paid for the debt of Zion to the justice of God, but He also conquered Satan, sin and the world. Now we find a twofold blessing in Him: as we stand guilty before the justice of God, we find satisfaction; and as our soul is held captive by the power of unrighteousness, we find deliverance. This makes Him so suitable for hearts that have learned to know themselves. Oh, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, everyone that thirsteth after righteousness and after the cleansing of their soul. Their guilt is never too great; their soul is never too black; their backsliding, and their faithless turning away are never so that He cannot find a ransom. In Him is eternal salvation, but only in Him. How God's children should continually stir up one another as the poet says in Psalm 105 as we shall sing, "Seek ye Jehovah and His power," etc. Psalter No. 425 st. 3 Application And now, beloved, may the instruction of this Catechism be precious, especially in these days, to us and to our children, so that we do not yield in our warfare with the Roman Catholics and with all that deny the only Savior. But may the Lord especially grant us true knowledge of Jesus Who saves His people. The whole world seeks satisfaction. We have lost God and that loss in us calls for fulfillment. It is so in all men. That is why the stadiums are filled Sunday after Sunday; that is why thousands are drawn to the theaters every day, and that is why their empty souls watch whatever is presented in movies and all things shown at Vanity Fair. All those thousands seek and ask for fulfillment; but not where it is to be found. Their soul is averse to Jesus and His Word, and still, the whole world shall leave them empty. Without God and without Christ, and therefore without hope for eternity; that is the judgment upon all that seek their salvation, not in Jesus, but elsewhere. May it fall as a thunderbolt upon our empty soul. Our hope is vanity, a hope of spiders, if we are strangers of the only Savior. Appreciate the fact that God allows us and our children to live under the preaching of His Word; but consider that also the preaching of that Word shall one day testify against us if we never have true fellowship with that Mediator, whose name is Savior. If you can find no rest, let your uncovered soul seek peace only in that Savior. May the Lord take away all grounds outside of Jesus. Continue seeking Him and may He grant you to know Him as the one Who both merited salvation, and applies salvation. Do ask yourself continually what you have learned of that only Savior. Did He reveal Himself to your soul by the Holy Spirit, so that you must cry out with Peter, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God"? There can be so many changes in our life, and emotions in our soul that are not saving. The story of Orpah was not placed in the Bible for naught. Should we then build up ourselves and others in various frames and marks of grace? Nevertheless, Christ does not forsake the work of His hands. He shall confirm it, but He does it by leading us to Jesus, and revealing Him in our soul. No one is deceived in Him, but true knowledge of Him fills our heart with so much joy and wonderment, that all our affections are drawn to Him. "Thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love Thee." Oh what a precious time God's children experience when often for a long time they may experience sweet communion with Christ! That abominable unbelief is subdued more and more. There is not as much drifting upon feeling, but faith is directed more and more upon Him Who said, "Flesh and blood has not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Did it not seem as if you could taste a little of that which the disciples were privileged to have during the three years that they walked with Him on earth? Yet with all that our hearts remain closed for the mediatorial work of Jesus. If Peter could have prevented it, the Lord would never have died, and neither do we want to be saved by Him alone. How indispensable then it is for God's people to discover their foolishness and their enmity against free grace. Then your life becomes so different. Then you see yourself without Christ in the world, and unreconciled with God. May that lack drive you in lively yearning to the Lord, that you may know Him as your Savior. To that end it is necessary that we lose our life and find it in Him alone. God Himself must cut us off if we shall be grafted into the true vine. We cannot take hold of Him, not even with all our longing after Him; but may He assure us that He has become not only for others, but also for ourselves the ground of eternal salvation. May He comfort our souls in the warfare which we must fight in this life and cause us to enter into the house of His Father, in which He has prepared mansions for His people. Amen. (continued in part 13...) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: krhc1-12.txt .