The Glorious Love of the Father—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)

By the age of twenty-one, Charles H. Spurgeon was arguably the most popular preacher in London. His passion and gift for proclaiming the gospel did not limit him to pastoral duties within one congregation; rather, they stimulated him to found Sunday schools, churches, an orphanage, and the Pastor’s College.

Possessing a simple yet profound understanding of how God views His children, Spurgeon would often proclaim the Church glorious. In two sermons on Luke 15:20 titled, “The Prodigal’s Reception” and “Prodigal Love for the Prodigal Son,” he tells how the Father looks upon and receives His child who is in sin—a picture of how Christ transforms wretched sinners into His bride, the Church, purified. The grace of God, explained “The Prince of Preachers,” produces a grateful people who stand ready to “face the world” and serve their Master with joy.

“He fell upon his neck and kissed him.” This I can understand by experience, but it is too wonderful for me to explain . . . I can understand how God manifests his love to a soul that is washed in Jesus’ blood, and knows it; but how he could fall upon the neck of a foul, filthy sinner as such! There it is—not as sanctified, not as having anything good in himself, but as nothing but a filthy, foul, desperate rebel, God falls upon his neck and kisses him. Oh! strange miracle of love! The riddle is unriddled when you recollect that God never had looked upon that sinner, as he was in himself, but had always looked upon him as he was in Christ; and when fell upon that prodigal’s neck, he did in effect only fall upon the neck of his once-suffering Son, Jesus Christ, and he kissed the sinner because he saw him in Christ, and therefore did not see the sinner’s loathsomeness, but saw only Christ’s comeliness, and therefore kissed him as he would have kissed his substitute.1

God on the neck of a sinner! What a wonderful picture! Can you conceive it? I do not think you can; but if you cannot imagine it, I hope that you will realize it. When God’s arm is about our neck, and his lips are on our cheek, kissing much, then we understand more that preachers or books can ever tell us of his condescending love.2

God’s people do not always know the greatness of his love to them. Sometimes, however, it is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Some of us know at times what it is to be almost too happy to live! The love of God has been so overpoweringly experienced by us on some occasions, that we have almost had to ask for a stay of the delight because we could not endure any more. If the glory had not been veiled a little, we should have died of excess of rapture, or happiness. Beloved, God has wondrous ways of opening his people’s hearts to the manifestation of his grace. He can pour in, not now and then a drop of his love, but great and mighty streams.3

It is a hard thing for a man to confess Christ if he has not had an overwhelming sense of communion with him. But when we are lifted to the skies in the rapture God gives to us, it becomes easy, not only to face the world, but to win the sympathy of even those who might have opposed themselves. This is why young converts are frequently used to lead others into the light; the Lord’s many kisses of forgiveness have so recently been given to them, that their words catch the fragrance of divine love as they pass the lips just touched by the Lord. Alas, that any should ever lose their first love, and forget the many kisses they have received from their heavenly Father!4

When God takes men from being heirs of wrath, and makes them heirs of grace, they have just as much privilege at the first as though they had been heirs of grace twenty years, because in God’s sight they always were heirs of grace, and from all eternity he viewed his most wandering sons.5

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1 C. H. Spurgeon, “The Prodigal’s Reception, Luke xv. 20,” Miracles and Parables of Our Lord, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 377-378.
2 C. H. Spurgeon, “Prodigal Love for the Prodigal Son, Luke xv. 20,” Miracles and Parables of Our Lord, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 382.
3 “Prodigal Love for the Prodigal Son,” 383-384.
4 Ibid., 391.
5 “The Prodigal’s Reception,” 380.

Lord of the Rings Actor Narrates BibleMesh Online Course

HAMILTON, Bermuda—Actor John Rhys-Davies (Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy) has partnered with the website BibleMesh.com as narrator of The Biblical Story, an online Bible survey course that explains how all of Scripture points to Christ.

The Bible is “a book that, even if you haven’t read it, has had an influence on your life,” Rhys-Davies said in the docudrama KJB [King James Bible]: The Book that Changed the World.

Joining Rhys-Davies in The Biblical Story’s 90-minute overview video is New York pastor and author Tim Keller who teaches the biblical theology throughout the video. Eric Metaxas, author of the bestseller Bonhoeffer, co-authored the video script along with King’s College President Greg Thornbury.

“BibleMesh is blessed with a gifted and diverse team of contributors,” publisher Emmanuel Kampouris said. “We’re grateful to have John Rhys-Davies partner with us. He’s an accomplished actor, and his narration helps present the Bible in a vivid and engaging way.”

The Biblical Story is entirely online and does not require any downloading or printing of material. It is being used as a textbook replacement in colleges and seminaries around the world. In addition to the overview video, the course provides commentary by a host of noted evangelicals: Hundreds of one-page articles introduce key Bible ideas while short teaching videos expound crucial points.

Among the personalities featured are Alistair Begg, senior pastor of Parkside Church in metropolitan Cleveland; Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College in Illinois; J. Ligon Duncan, newly elected chancellor of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi; and Christopher Ash, director of London’s Cornhill Training Course.

“BibleMesh is not just facts,” said Thornbury, one of the course’s theological editors. “It’s a whole-Bible theology approach to learning Scripture.”

For more information, visit www.BibleMesh.com/story

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Home for Bible Translators Partners with BibleMesh Biblical Language

Home for Bible Translators (HBT) can be found nestled in the Judean hills just outside of Jerusalem in Yad haSh’mona. Mother tongue Bible translators from 35 different countries have made the journey from their own countries to HBT to learn the language of the Bible in the land of the Bible so that they are better equipped to undertake the important work of Bible translation when they return home.

HBTbaseHBT base in Yad haSh’mona

Hebrew language study for HBT Bible translators is based at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the most recent course, however, HBT has partnered with BibleMesh Biblical Languages so their students, coming from many different countries, can supplement their Hebrew language study with BibleMesh’s text based, inductive language program, as well as continue to use the program once they return to their home countries.

In the video below Hal Ronning, the director of HBT, talks with Timothy Edwards about the work and ministry of HBT as well as how BibleMesh has helped in training their students in the important work of Bible translation.

Greg Thornbury on the Crucifixion

Greg Thornbury is the Dean of the School of Theology and Missions and Vice President for Spiritual Life at Union University in Jackson, TN. He also serves as editor for the “Q&A on the Bible” section of the BibleMesh Blog.

BibleMesh aims to help people understand the big picture as well as important facts of the Bible. The first BibleMesh resource is “The Biblical Story,” a course that presents Scripture as a cohesive narrative of God’s work in the world from Genesis to Revelation. It utilizes an interactive quizzing tool that helps people remember what they have learned. And finally, it includes a social networking platform which will allow pastors and church leaders to host their own online Bible studies and contribute their own resources. Forthcoming content will include courses in Biblical Greek and Hebrew.

VIDEO: Alistair Begg on the Death of Christ

 

Alistair Begg is the senior minister at Parkview Church in Cleveland, Ohio.

BibleMesh aims to help people understand the big picture as well as important facts of the Bible. The first BibleMesh resource is “The Biblical Story,” a course that presents Scripture as a cohesive narrative of God’s work in the world from Genesis to Revelation. It utilizes an interactive quizzing tool that helps people remember what they have learned. And finally, it includes a social networking platform which will allow pastors and church leaders to host their own online Bible studies and contribute their own resources. Forthcoming content will include courses in Biblical Greek and Hebrew.