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Im4God Newsletter 01.19.06@

Welcome to the Im4God.org / Songbook.ManuelAdam.com January 19th, 2006 Newsletter!
You can email Webservant Peter J. Louie by replying to this message.

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Isaiah 66 - The Humble and Contrite in Spirit

1Thus says the LORD:
"Heaven is my throne,
   and the earth is my footstool;
what is the house that you would build for me,
   and what is the place of my rest?
2All these things my hand has made,
   and so all these things came to be,
         declares the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
   he who is humble and contrite in spirit
   and trembles at my word.

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New Attitude 2004 Conference... by Sovereign Grace Ministries

This month we don't have a featured sermon, but with the permission of the NA'04 producers, we created a new website on the topic of relationships.  Hear speakers such as Mark Dever, Al Mohler, Wayne Grudem, C.J. Mahaney, or Joshua Harris expound Biblical principles on this countercultural topic at the new website, NAREL.org.

Or, if this topic doesn't suit you, check out the Suffering and the Sovereignty of God conference.  This Desiring God conference featured speakers such as David Powlison, Joni Eareckson Tada, John Piper, and Mark Talbot.

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A GODLY MAN STRIVES TO BE AN INSTRUMENT FOR MAKING OTHERS GODLY
By Thomas Watson

He is not content to go to heaven alone but wants to take others there.  Spiders work only for themselves, but bees work for others… He is always drawing others to embrace piety.  Living things have a propagating virtue.  Where religion lives in the heart, there will be an endeavour to propagate the life of grace in those we converse with: "My son, Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds' (Philem. 10).  Though God is the fountain of grace, yet the saints are pipes to transmit living streams to others.  This great effort for the conversion of souls proceeds:

1. From the nature of godliness
It is like fire which assimilates and turns everything into its own nature.  Where there is the fire of grace in the heart, it will endeavour to inflame others.  Grace is a holy leaven, which will be seasoning and leavening others with divine principles.  Paul would gladly have converted Agrippa - how he courted him with rhetoric!  'King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets?  I know that thou believes' (Acts 26:27).  His zeal and eloquence had almost captivated the king (v. 28).  Then Agrippa said to Paul, 'Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."

2. From a spirit of compassion
Grace makes the heart tender.  A godly man cannot choose but pity those who are in the gall of bitterness.  He sees what a deadly cup is brewing for the wicked.  They must, without repentance, be bound over to God's wrath.  The fire which rained on Sodom was but a painted fire in comparison with hell fire.  This is a fire with a vengeance: 'suffering the vengeance of eternal fire' (Jude 7).  Now when a godly man sees captive sinners ready to be damned, he strives to convert them fro the error of their way: 'Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men' (2 Cor. 5:11).

3. From a holy zeal he has for Christ's glory
The glory of Christ is as dear to him as his own salvation.  Therefore, that this may be promoted, he strives with the greatest effort to bring souls to Christ.

It is a glory to Christ when multitudes are born to him.  Every star adds a lustre to the sky; every convert is a member added to Christ's body and a jewel adorning his crown.  Though Christ's glory cannot be increased, as he is God, yet as he is Mediator, it may.  The more there are saved, the more Christ is exalted.   Why else should the angels rejoice at the conversion of a sinner, but because Christ's glory now shines the more (Luke 15:10)?...

1. If men love Christ, they would try to draw as many as they could to him.  He who loves his captain will persuade others to come under his banner.  This unmasks the hypocrite.  Though a hypocrite may make a show of grace himself, yet he never bothers to procure grace in others.  He is without compassion.  I may allude to the verse: 'that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off'' (Zech. 11:9).  Let souls go to the devil, he cares not.

2. How far from being godly are those who instead of striving for grace in others, work to destroy all hopeful beginnings of grace in them!  Instead of drawing them to Christ, they draw them from Christ.  Their work is to poison and harm souls.  This harming of souls occurs in three ways: by bad edicts... by bad examples... and by bad company...

3. If it is the sign of a godly man to promote grace in others, then how much more ought he to promote it in his near relations.  A godly man will be careful that his children should know God.  He would be sorry that any of his flesh should burn in hell.  He labours to see Christ formed in those who are himself in another edition.  Augustine says that his mother Monica travailed with grater care and pain for his spiritual than for his natural birth.

The time of childhood is the fittest time to be sowing seed of religion in our children. 'Whom shall he make to understand doctrine?  Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts' (Isa. 28:9).  The wax, while it is soft and tender, will take any impression.  Children, while they are young, will fear a reproof; when they are old, they will hate it....

.... Let all who have God's name placed on them do what in them lies to advance piety in others...

And surely it will be no grief of heart when conscience can witness for us that we have brought glory to God in this matter by working to fill heaven.

Not that this is in any way meritorious, or has any causal influence on our salvation.  Christ's blood is the cause, but our promoting God's glory in the conversion of others is a signal evidence of our salvation.  As the rainbow is not a cause why God will not drown the world, but is a sign that he will not drown it; or as Rahab's scarlet thread hung out of the window (Joshua 2:18) was not a cause why she was exempted form destruction, but was a sign of her being exempted, so our building up others in the faith is not a cause why we are saved, but it is a symbol of our piety and a presage of our felicity.

[From The Godly Man's Picture by Thomas Watson, pp.183-188, a Puritan Paperback edition published by the Banner of Truth.]
Buy the book at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0851515959/im4god

- Other books relating to today's article: Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands and Shepherding a Child's Heart
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