[CF Devotionals] 2009-01-24 - Heart Treasure

Exodus 18:21, "Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain."

What I am giving below are some thoughts from a book I am reading. I have read the book before, but in this bout through, it I have found Chapter 10 of particular use. These are some high-flying thoughts from Oliver Heywood's "Heart Treasure." I hope these thoughts spur you on, more and more, to be men and women of truth.

Soli Deo Gloria,

  1. Some prominent doctrines he gives:

    Truth is a sacred deposit, which God has committed to His people, and which must on no account be undervalued or lost; for the whole world cannot give a price equivalent to the least truth.

    The Holy Scriptures are of divine authority, and the sole, complete, and supreme rule of faith and practice. God is an infinite, simple, and immutable Spirit. In the unity of the Godhead there are three distinct Persons, which are yet one in nature, in essence, and in every diving perfection. All things depend upon God's eternal decrees. Many was created perfect in holiness and happiness; but, through the apostasy of Adam, all his posterity have become involved in pollution and ruin. Christ, the God-man, is the only mediator between God and man, -- who, by His obedience, sufferings, and death, hath satisfied divine justice, and justified sinners. They, and they only, who sincerely repent and believe, are justified and accepted. Christ has established a visible church in the world, of which He is the supreme and only Head, and whose members are to consist of such as credibly profess faith in His name, and observe the ordinances which He has instituted. At the end of time, there will be a general resurrection of the dead, and a day of public and final judgment, in which the righteous shall be received into life eternal, and the wicked condemned to everlasting punishment.

  2. Some prominent experimental truths:

    'To know aright 'the truth as it is in Jesus,' is to feel its quickening and renovating power on the heart. Without this experience, knowledge is but a cold and worthless speculation.

    By nature we are averse to all good, and prone to all evil. That we have no power of our own to obtain saving good, but are entirely dependent for its bestowment on the sovereign mercy of God. That regeneration is a thorough change of the whole man, in heart and life, effected by the direct and immediate agency of the Holy Spirit. That faith and repentance are the gifts of God's free grace. That a sinner is justified only by Christ's merits imputed, not by works. That conformity to God is an inseparable attendant of communion with God. That every child of God has the Spirit of adoption, to assist him in prayer. That the best saints in this life are sanctified but in part. That a Christian's truest and noblest life is a life of faith. That sincere saints may be assured of the truth of grace within them, and of their consequent title to glory. That a justified person cannot totally and finally fall away, but will be kept by the power of God unto salvation.

  3. Some truths that relate to our practice:

    Fundamental truths of practical concernment are, in a manner, the soul of religion.

    The great design of the Gospel is not to make men more learned, but to make them better; not merely to instruct, but to correct and purify them.

    All creatures were made for the glory of God, and are sacredly bound to promote it; and that, although since the fall the divine law is no longer the ground of our justification, it is still the standard of our obedience. They teach us that true faith embraces Christ wholly, in His commands as well as in His grace, in the strictness of His precepts as well as in the largeness of His mercy; that none can expect pardon without sincere, evangelical repentance, and amendment of life; that though man's best duties are imperfect, and merit no reward at God's hands, yet good works are the necessary fruits and evidences of a living faith; and that those only are good works which proceed from a right source, are governed by a right rule, and directed to a right end. And they further teach us that all who are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, are under the most solemn obligation, not only to exemplify His Gospel in their spirit and conduct, but to consecrate their time, talents, and property unreservedly to the work of extending His cause, and publishing His salvation throughout the world.

A couple additional thoughts from Chapter 10:

Doctrinal truths have to do with our faith; experimental, with our hearts; practical, with our lives. The first have to be believed, the second to be experienced, the third to be obeyed.

You cannot stand for truths you do not know, and you will not stand for those which you do not adopt, and highly value.1

  1. Oliver Heywood, "Heart Treasure, or the Furniture of a Holy Soul", Soli Deo Gloria Ministries (September 1997), originally published American Baptist Publishing Society (1666), Revised and Edited George B, Ide, D.D., ISBN 1573580635, 528 pages

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