The Christian’s compass and chart…
(William Nicholson, “God’s Word, a Preservative From Sin” 1862)
“Your Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11
The Psalmist deposited the precepts and promises of God in his heart, and proved their value and efficiency . . .
to preserve him from sin,
to comfort him in trouble, and
to cheer him in a dying hour.
Just so, Christians must “let the word of Christ dwell in them richly, in all wisdom”–which will preserve them from sin, and make them wise unto salvation.
The Word must be deposited in our hearts, woven into our natures–by carefully reading and meditating upon it. “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” Joshua 1:8
The Word is the perpetual standard of all moral excellence. All its precepts tend to purity.
Its doctrines present the most powerful motives against sin.
When the Christian looks at the sufferings and death of the Redeemer . . .
in His intense agony,
in His bloody sweat,
in His transfixing on the cross,
in the desertion of His Father,
in the endurance of the penalty of sin–
he sees in all these complicated and unparalleled sorrows, “the exceeding sinfulness of sin!”
Why is he redeemed? “Christ gave Himself for us–to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good!” Titus 2:14
Why is he regenerated? “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Why is he adopted into God’s family? But to bear the image of Him who adopts.
What is the tendency of all the doctrines of grace which he has received? “For the grace of God . . . teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age!” Titus 2:11-12
Why is he preserved? “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!” 1 Thessalonians 5:23. “But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation!” Colossians 1:22
Above all, when he contemplates the character of his Savior . . .
His ardent love,
His ineffable meekness,
His profound humility, and
His unexampled obedience–
he perceives such a bright constellation of virtues, that he is dazzled by their splendor, and longs and prays to be impressed with His image and likeness.
Thus the Word of God is hidden in his heart . . .
as his counselor,
as his guide,
as his pattern!
The Word of God is the Christian’s compass and chart, by which he is steered safely over the tempestuous ocean of life!
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