The Sweetest Words on Earth

0809118

 Audio: mp3

He speaks and the sound of his voice is so sweet, the birds hush their singing.  The voice of Jesus is so sweet that even creation stops to listen. Are we his creation?  Do we stop to listen to his voice?  There is a time coming when there will be a voice spoken and those who have not stopped to listen to his voice will then be forced to hear it.  That word that will be spoken will be the words my grace is sufficient for thee and that voice will glorify the redeemed and raise the righteous. 

That voice which penetrates the ear of the dead, they know. How often have its plaintive, tender tones called them to repentance. How often has it been heard in the touching entreaties of a friend, a brother, a Redeemer. To the rejecters of his grace, no other could be so full of condemnation, so burdened with denunciation, as that voice which has so long pleaded, “Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” [Ezekiel 33:11.] Oh that it were to them the voice of a stranger! Says Jesus: “I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded. But ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof.” [Proverbs 1:24, 25.] That voice awakens memories which they would fain blot out,—warnings despised, invitations refused, privileges slighted. {GC88 642.3}

This sweet voice is not sweet to the sinner. It is a voice that speaks condemnation even though it has come to them in entreaties and in calls to repentance. In it all it is all condemnation. Then when it finally comes they will have none of it. They know the voice, they have heard it before but to them it is the voice of a stranger.  The words of Jesus Christ are not sweet to the sinner.

What Are The Sweetest Words On Earth?

What are they?

Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Apostle Paul declared himself to be a lover of the word of God. He declared himself to be righteous and blameless.

Philippians 3:4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, [of] the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

He had read the word of God and he had heard this word and it had filled him with  zeal. He thought it was sweet and satisfying. As that law of God, the Ten Commandments stood before him, he said according to that I’m blameless. I’ve done this and that right, I’ve done it all right. The Pharisee looks at the law of God and his words and says they are very sweet. They make me to feel very sweet myself.

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men [are], extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

He compared himself with the law and said its sweet, look at what I’ve done right. I fast twice in the week, I give ten percent, I’ve not committed adultery, I’m fair and just and have no exhorted people and I’m not a publican. He looks at this word of God and he says its good. Jesus Christ when he was asked in regards to the law said how readest thou?

How do we read the law of God? How do we receive his requirements? Not just his ten commandments or the reform principles. Health, dress and speech reform. How readest thou? Do we look at ourselves and say yes I always cover my ankles, I’m always covered, I’ve given up meat and I don’t eat eggs, I’m always reading the ingredients of food and make sure there is no bicarbonate in it. We read the ten commandments this way and we say I’ve not done this and that. How readest thou? Apostle Paul claimed to be blameless but he met Jesus Christ. He saw the law of God as it really stood towards the sinner.

The experience of Paul in Romans 7 is a profound experience. I have come to realise how few have actually made this experience in its entirety as it’s really meant to be made. Apostle Paul loved the law, he thought he had kept it but when he saw it as it really was he said;

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? [is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

He had read the law but he hadn’t seen how far reaching the law was. He hadn’t discerned in the commandment thou shalt not covet lust.

Romans 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin [was] dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me]. 12 Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

He read the law as it was meant to be read and it killed him. He came to realise what he thought he had been keeping was not what he had been keeping.  According to the letter of the law perhaps he was pretty good but when he came to the spirituality of the law, it slew him. When the commandment came, sin revived and I died. He finally says;

Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

What does he thank God for? The Ten Commandments? The law as we know from Galatians 3:24 is a school master. I don’t think of myself as sitting at a desk listening to a teacher, I think of myself as getting the Cain. That is the school master I have considered.  The law chastens. It comes to us and says you think you have done that right when you haven’t done it right.

Have you kept the law? Can you say I have kept the law? To keep the law would be to do what is right. Have you done that which is right? Children, have you been a good boy or girl? Adults, have you been good this week? Do you think you have been good this week? Has someone come to you and said how are you and you replied I’m good? You haven’t been good. Only God is good. The law comes to us and it says I want righteousness. I want right doing. Here are my ten precepts and I want you to obey them. It will accept nothing short of that. Nothing short through your whole entire life. You can live for 80 or 90 years and if you sin once in your entire life you have broken the law of God and you must pay the wages. A whole entire life of obedience is what the law demands. Do you have it? When the commandment came I died. I came to realise how far short I actually am.

I have realised I can do it right but I didn’t do it right yesterday. The law will not be satisfied. What does the law really demand of us? What is the law? It is the transcript of the character of God. It is a declaration of his righteousness, his right doing. This is the truth of the law that slays. It wants perfect righteousness but whose perfect righteousness does the law want? Christs, Gods perfect righteousness. It is his character, righteousness and law therefore it wants his right doing. It wants the righteousness which God does, the righteousness that is manifested in his life. It wants the right doing in his life. It will accept nothing short of that.

When you look at the law from the perspective of how readest thou and you come to see the Ten Commandments require righteousness on par which is God’s righteousness himself, does that law slay you? Do you have that to offer to the law? When you look at the law like that, does it not work in you all manner of concupiscence? How can I attain unto that?  There is no excuse for sin. As much as this is what righteousness is, if you are lacking it you have no excuse. Have you ever said to someone you should have done this or that? Have you have heard it in the church where we place expectations upon one another and get disappointed when those expectations fail and then we get annoyed when they don’t. They can’t do it. There is none righteousness it says. There is none that seeks after God. They are all unprofitable. That is you and me. We put expectations upon one another which we cannot meet and we get disappointed. In our dealings with one another, if you don’t want to be disappointed, don’t expect.

Yes we think we are alive, we think that we are doing things really well and that God will be happy with my efforts but when the law comes as it really is sin revives and what do I have to offer God?  We have nothing to offer God. He wants his right doing. Do you have that to offer? We don’t.

Romans 7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Now we have a problem. I wasn’t just. I was slack but we are now seen to be exceeding sinful.

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

An Abundance of Sin!

The word abound means to have or possess in great quantity. Do you have or possess sin in great quantity? To be copiously supplied. That word copious is a very descriptive word of an abundance of sin and for it to be very prevalent. It’s a wind that has its way. It has force in int. Our sinfulness prevails in us and we get carried away with it.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

That is the law of God as he comes to the sinner. It is a school master and it leads us to Jesus Christ. Do I have that which I can give to God, to the law? I do not. Now I know it. If I let this sink in as it did with Apostle Paul, I will have a great sense of need.  Where do I get it? I don’t want to die. I want to please God. As apostle Paul says I delight in the law of God after the inward man. I consent to the law that it is holy, just and good but I see within myself this prevalent abundance of sin.

But Where Sin Abounded, Grace Did Much More Abound

God says I will give them righteousness, I will give them that which will satisfy the law. This giving of righteousness and this abundance of grace, through what way does it come?

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

The abundance of grace now justifies us freely through the redemption in Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where [is] boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

This abundance of grace in the abundance of sin justifies and it sets forth Jesus Christ as a propitiation. In other words Jesus Christ takes my place in respect to the demands of the law of God. Where I have failed, he takes that failure upon himself and he appeases the justice and wrath of that law. He stands in my place. That redemption is where it is in Jesus Christ.

When we are in Christ what is the blessing?

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

The laws needs to work to bring me to Jesus Christ because without him I can’t do anything right. When that school master has brought me to Jesus and he abides in me then there can be brought fruit which satisfies but he says without me you can do nothing.

John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

He says without me you can’t do anything but then he says I can of my own self do nothing.

John 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

Jesus Christ laid down himself, he put himself aside and took upon himself the garb of humanity and of his own self he could do nothing. That which he did which was right was not his own works, it was the works of the father in him. Jesus says without me you can do nothing. Except you abide in me and I in you, you can’t do the works of God. If we abide in him, we can because he emptied himself and was filled with the fullness of God and God worked in him perfect righteousness. As we abide in Jesus and Christ abides in us, Jesus works in us and the father works in Jesus Christ, we work the works of God.

That righteousness which the law demands is satisfied. As Christ was set forth as our propitiation and we receive and believe that and we come to him and hide in his bosom, the father only sees his Son. When he looks upon you and me we are hiding in Jesus Christ and he doesn’t see our sinfulness. He only sees the perfect right doing of Jesus Christ. When he looks upon us he is very happy as he sees his righteousness. Where there were miserable failings, where there is only wretched, poor, blind and naked beings, he sees a perfect life. He sees a life that is as perfect as his own as that life is from everlasting to everlasting. The law is very happy because that law is that thing itself –  perfect righteousness.

How It Is That Apostle Paul Can Be So Happy?

He found this law but all it did was give him a real state of discomfort and concupiscence and a sense of burning and roasting. Here am I and all I see is I can’t do anything right. There is nothing about me that feels right. Keep that sense as it leads us to Jesus Christ. It makes us appreciate Jesus Christ and the propitiation for that sin.

Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. 1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Now that you are in Jesus Christ, you have believed his propitiation. You have believed that he now stands in your place and you are believing it everyday. There is no condemnation. How perfectly do we believe these words? How perfectly do we believe that we are not condemned? There is no condemnation.

Psalm 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

God means what he says. You who are a sinner and you are not condemned.

Proverbs 24:16 For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

You make mistakes. If you are in Jesus Christ you are not condemned even though you fall. A just man falleth seven times. A just man is a righteous man. The word of God declares a righteousness mans falls. But he is still righteous because he is in Jesus Christ and Christ is his propitiation. Now that we have reached the point where the law has killed me and as the scripture says you are no longer under the law but faith, do we make void the law? Does that particular word of God have anymore relevance in our lives? Jesus Christ comes and he declares righteousness.

What is Righteousness?

Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments [are] righteousness.

Is the law done away with when you are in Jesus Christ? No. It is that very word that Jesus speaks. He speaks his Ten Commandments. How readest thou where the words of Jesus Christ. How do we read the word of God? To the sinner it condemns but if they have permitted it to slay them, how readest them? Christianity wants to do away with the Ten Commandments. Do you want to do away with them? God says thou shalt not have graven images or idols.

God commanded the light to shine out of darkness. In the beginning there was darkness and God said let there be light and there was light. He commanded the light to shine out of darkness. Did the light produce itself? It didn’t but God commanded it. We have before us the Ten Commandments and we read them as God saying you should do this and that. That is how we consider the commandments of God. By reading line upon line we see that the word that God speaks and it shall produce what it wants. When God comes to us and he says thou shalt have no other Gods before me, how readest thou? Do you read it is as you are not to have any Gods before me? Make sure you don’t bow down to any other idols?

No. It is the same word spoken in the beginning.  That word itself will produce itself. If we receive the word of God in this manner, then not only will Jesus Christ stand in our place of our failures but the very word that he has spoken will produce his own righteousness within our own lives. It will create it. When the Israelites received the Ten Commandments what did they say? All that the Lord has said we will do.  I will do it, yes God that is what you commanded and wanted so I’m going to go and do it now. That is not what God wants. The law doesn’t want your right doing. It doesn’t want your obedience. It wants God’s obedience. The word of God must be permitted to produce its own righteousness.

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

What are the Ten Commandments? They are promises but not just promises. They are precious promises. Are we receiving the word of God like that? Are we receiving all of his requirements like that? We look at his demands with our mind that naturally places upon the words of others an arbitrary requirement. God is not arbitrary. We see his law, we see the principles of reform and we think I have to go and do this and that. That is not what God wants. When the Israelites stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, they should not have said all that you have said we will do.

They should have said Amen, let it be so. Thy word O Lord it will fulfil itself. It will not return void, it itself will accomplish the thing. When God comes to us with his law, with his dress, health, say Amen, let God fulfil it in you. Don’t go about like the Pharisee setting up your own way of doing things. Don’t take the word of God saying I’ve done this and that right. You haven’t and you can’t but I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He will work and will to do of his good pleasure. Then it will work and produce but you have to be dead. You have to let it abide in you. As this word is received not as something arbitrary, this is the love of God that will keep his commandments, that is where the love of God is. He will work in you to keep them.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Those who are under the law are those who think they can deep it, those who say all that the Lord has said I will do. Every mouth will be stopped as they can’t and the whole world will be guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.

All your right doings are not good enough.  In your life God’s own doing will be manifested.  There will be no more boasting as you have become guilty before God and realised where you thought you had it right you had it wrong. Now you have yielded and that word works within you and produces the righteousness of God. That is what his manifest in you, in your earthen vessel. We have seen how it leads us to Jesus Christ. It shows me up. It gives me a sense of need and now I come and I find in Jesus Christ that which satisfies the demands of the law. I receive the word which previously condemned me. I receive it and it works in me to produce that which the law wants.

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

The law now is not done away with in fact we see all the way along that to do away with the law is to do away with eternal life. That law now is a witness.

Then, when the law gives a knowledge of sin, in order that we may have the knowledge of the abundance of grace to take away the sin, then grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ–and this righteousness of God by faith in Christ is our own through the working of the law, and this knowledge of sin has brought us to Christ, and we have Him, and the law is satisfied in all its demands that it has made upon us. {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 413.4}

Now when it is satisfied in all its demands it has made upon us, then will it stick to that and keep on saying that it is satisfied. That that is all right? When the law has made demands upon us that we cannot satisfy by any other possible means except by Jesus Christ being present in ourselves, then, will the law of God, as long as we stay there, stand right there and say, “That is right, and I am satisfied with it”? [Congregation: “Yes.”] Then if anybody begins to question it and says, “It is not so,” then we have witnesses to prove it, have we? {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 413.5}

There is the law and we can read the Ten Commandments and receive them as promised. Then the law is satisfied as God then sees in us his Son as his Son was the satisfaction of the law.

Now you see this: that it is necessary for several reasons that we should have witnesses. One in our own connection and in our own personal experience is this: When God speaks and we believe it, then we know, each one for himself that the righteousness of God is our own, that we are entitled to it, that it belongs to us and that we can rest in perfect peace upon it. But there are other people that need to know this, too. Can they know it by my saying so? [Congregation: “No.”] Can they know it by my saying that I assent to this and that I say that is so and therefore it is so? Will that convince them? Is that proof enough to them? [Congregation: “No.”] They need something better even than my word. Don’t you see, the Lord has met that very demand and has given us witnesses to which they can appeal and they can go and ask these witnesses whenever they please whether this that we have is genuine or not. Is that so? [Congregation: “Yes.”] {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 413.6}

Can people know I’m keeping the Ten Commandments? Will they accept your word for that? Is that proof enough to them? They need something better even than my word that the law has met the very demand and given us witnesses. In Jesus Christ I am righteous. If you don’t believe it read Exodus 20 and it will tell you that in Jesus Christ I am righteous.

Have You Ever Considered the Ten Commandments To Be Your Friends?

They need not come and inquire of us; if they inquire of us, of course we can tell them what the Lord has told us to say and if that is not enough, they can go and ask those witnesses. We can say, There are some friends of mine. They know me from my birth till now. They know me better than I do myself and if you want any more than this that I say, go and ask them. They will tell you. How many of them are there? [Congregation: “Ten.”] is their word worth anything? Do they tell the truth? Ah, they are truth itself. They are the truth. Psalm 119:142. Well then it is impossible for them to testify otherwise in bearing witness than that. When they say that that demand is satisfied, “This life is well pleasing to me,” that is enough for anybody in the universe, is it not? {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 414.1}

Can you understand how it is that David says oh how I love thy law? It is my mediation all the day. It has killed it but by it he found peace with God. He has found peace with God through it from his childhood through to eternity. Now it is working itself to fulfil itself in him. Now it stands by the thing that slew him, he is worthy of everlasting life. This is amazing, how readest thou? How have we been receiving the word of God in our own lives? How? A T Jones speaks of the last day when God brings everyone up to judge them. It is so revealing of the law of God as love.

And in that day there are going to be two parties there. There are going to be some there when the door is shut, and they will want to go in, and they say, “Lord, open to us. We want to come in.” And someone comes and asks, “What have you done that you should come in? What right have you to enter the inheritance here? What claim have you upon that?” “Oh, we are acquainted with you. We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. Yes, besides that we have prophesied in thy name. In thy name we have cast out devils and in thy name we have done many wonderful works. Why, we have done many wonderful things. Lord, is not that evidence enough? Open the door.” What is the answer? “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity. {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 416.7}

But didn’t they preach in his name and cast out devils in his name? They did all that which the Lord required.

“What did they say? “We have done many wonderful works. We have done them. We are all right. We are righteous. We are just. Exactly right. Therefore we have a right to be there. Open the door.” But “we” does not count there, does it? {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 416.6}

There is going to be another company there that day–a great multitude that no man can number–all nations and kindreds and tongues and people, and they will come up to enter in. And if anyone should ask them that question, “What have you done that you should enter here? What claim have you here?” The answer would be: {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 416.7}

“Oh, I have not done anything at all to deserve it. I am a sinner, dependent only on the grace of the Lord. Oh I was so wretched, so completely a captive and in such a bondage that nobody could deliver me but the Lord Himself; so miserable that all I could ever do was to have the Lord constantly to comfort me, so poor that I had constantly to beg from the Lord; so blind that no one but the Lord could cause me to see; so naked that no one could clothe me but the Lord Himself. All the claim that I have is what Jesus has done for me. But the Lord has loved me. When in my wretchedness I cried, He delivered me. When in my misery I wanted comfort, He comforted me all the way. When in my poverty I begged, He gave me riches. When in my blindness I asked Him to show me the way, that I might know the way, He led me all the way and made me to see. When I was so naked that no one could clothe me, why, He gave me this garment that I have on, and so all I can present, all that I have to present as that upon which I can enter, any claim that would cause me to enter, is just what He has done for me. If that will not pass me, then I am left out, and that will be just too. If I am left out, I have no complaint to make. But, oh, will not this entitle me to enter and possess the inheritance?” {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 416.8}

But he says, “Well, there are some very particular persons here. They want to be fully satisfied with everybody that goes by here. We have ten examiners here. When they look into a man’s case and say that he is all right, why then he can pass. Are you willing that these shall be called to examine into your case?” And we shall answer, “Yes, yes, because I want to enter in, and I am willing to submit to any examination, because even if I am left out I have no complaint to make. I am lost anyway when I am left to myself. {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 416.9}

“Well,” says he, “we will call them then.” And so those ten are brought up and they say, “Why, yes, we are perfectly satisfied with him. Why, yes, the deliverance that he obtained from his wretchedness is that which our Lord wrought; the comfort that he had all the way and that he needed so much is that which our Lord gave. The wealth that he has, whatever he has, poor as he was, the Lord gave it, and blind, whatever he sees, it is the Lord that gave it to him. And he sees only what is the Lord’s. And naked as he was, that garment that he has on, the Lord gave it to him. The Lord wove it, and it is all divine. It is only Christ. Why, yes, he can come in.” {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 417.1}

The congregation then started singing:

“Jesus paid it all,

All to him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain:

He washed it white as snow.”

And then, brethren, there will come over the gates a voice of sweetest music, full of the gentleness and compassion of my Saviour–the voice will come from within, “Come in, thou blessed of the Lord.” [Congregation: “Amen.”] “Why standest thou without?” And the gate will be swung wide open, and we shall have “an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” {February 27, 1893 ATJ, GCDB 417.3}

How readest thou? How receives thou? What was the word?

Psalms 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! [yea, sweeter] than honey to my mouth!

Thoroughly masticate it, don’t be fast with your food. Chew it and taste it as God brings any of his requirements, let them be sweet. May God help us to receive his word as he intends us to receive it and to do and say exactly that which Jesus Christ said;

Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.

Amen.

Posted on June 14, 2010, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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