I. THE GREAT IN CHARACTER. How described.
1. Obedience. Life regulated by the Divine will. "Walk in my ways."
2. Fidelity of service. Life devoted to God's glory. So Moses (Hebrews 3:5).
II. THE GREAT IN HONOUR. Not place, or outward distinction, or arbitrary rewards. "Knighthoods and honours borne without desert are titles but of scorn" (Shakespeare). Three things.
1. "Judge my house."
2. "Keep my courts."
3. "Walks among those that stand by."
Dignity. Power with God and power with man. Society of the noblest.
III. THE GREAT IN BLESSEDNESS. Freedom of soul. Holy living. Harmonious development. Grandest fellowship. Immortal hope. The promises of God are gracious in character, elevating in purpose, faithful in fulfilment. - F.
The Angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua I.
WHAT THE GREAT HEAD OF THE CHURCH REQUIRES OF YOU.
1. Personal piety. "Walk in My ways." This phrase denotes the whole of practical and experimental godliness. There can be no true piety without a previous scriptural conversion, a moral, universal, spiritual change; a change of the principles, of the mind, of the affections, of the heart, of the conduct, and of the life, by the power of the Holy Ghost, and obtained by faith in Christ Jesus. Every unconverted minister is an intruder into the sacred office. The dignity of your office does not discharge you from all the obligations to personal holiness; but it binds those obligations upon you with superadded weight and force. Then he men of integrity. Cultivate a devotional spirit. Be clothed with humility. Be grave and serious. Be cheerful, but take care that cheerfulness noes not degenerate into levity. The piety of some ministers has serious blemishes, against which you will do well to guard yourselves. Such as envy, which is the vice of little minds. Or a disposition to retail slanders. In order to maintain your personal piety it will be necessary for you every day to renew your acts of dedication to God.
2. A faithful discharge of your ministerial and pastoral functions. Your office may be called the "charge of the Lord," because you received it from Him, and are accountable to Him for the discharge of its functions. In order to keep this charge, you should well understand its nature. It is Christian theology, which you have to teach to mankind; and you cannot teach it to others unless you well understand it yourselves. It is the well-informed, well-instructed divine who alone can adorn the sacred profession and edify the Church of Jesus Christ. Avoid a controversial style of preaching, for that is generally unprofitable, and unpopular too. You should be faithful, zealous, and laborious preachers, ever randy to declare "the whole counsel of God."
3. In this charge is implied the faithful performance of pastoral duties. The exercise of a pure discipline over the societies (Churches) entrusted to your care A Church without discipline is like a garden without a fence. The clue administration of pastoral advice and counsel is another of our duties.
II. THE IMPORT OF THOSE PROMISES MADE TO YOU. Dignity and authority in the Church of God is here promised to faithful ministers. Continuance in office is another promise. And it is further promised that they shall at length be translated to nobler stations in the heavenly world, where they shall become companions of angels. Allow me to charge you then to give attention to all these things. I have not exhorted you to pursue unattainable objects; they are all well within your reach. Redeem the time. And "be thou faithful unto death."
The design of God's promises is to quicken us to diligence in the work which He hath given us to do.
I. WHAT IS REQUIRED OF JOSHUA; or how he was to behave. He was to "walk in God's ways, and keep His charge"; which signifies a general care to be religious himself, and a faithful performance of the duties of his particular station.
II. WHAT IS PROMISED TO JOSHUA IN CONSEQUENCE OF SO DOING.
1. That he should be continued in his office.
2. At length he should be preferred to a nobler station, in which he should be the companion of angels.It does not mean that angels should guard and preserve him in all his goings and undertakings. The most natural and easy sense of the words is, that they refer to a future state, and mean that Joshua should at length be joined to the angels in heaven. Most of the Jewish writers paraphrase thus, "I will raise thee from the dead, and place thee among the seraphims." This is a most delightful and instructive idea of the heavenly world — walking among the angels. Heaven is the stated abode of these glorious, wise, and happy spirits, who are superior to men; therefore they are called the angels of God in heaven. God intends that all His faithful servants on earth should at length dwell and walk with them. Reflect what an honour and happiness this will be. Consider what excellent beings they are in themselves. And consider them as those who have been ministers of God to the world, the Church, and ourselves. Application —(1) Reflect, for our caution, on the counterpart of this, or the future state of those who forsake the ways of God.(2) Let us be excited to the duties required in the text, by the gracious promise contained in it.
Let the Christian notice well God's order in these verses. It is cleansing first, then obedience, next service. All through the Bible the cleansing is with a view to the other two; and if these two fail to be seen in the Christian's character he will lose the first, for all practical purposes. A cleansed soul will be a holy soul. A cleansed soul will be an obedient one, and will love to serve. Then, Christian, "work out your own salvation" by putting no hindrance in the way of "God working within you both to will and do." Live upon Christ, and let nothing come between your continued eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of Man. This is living upon Christ; and if your soul lacks it your obedience and your service will cease. The measure of blessing to another's soul will be the measure of Christ living in your own; and the measure of Christ living in you will be the measure of your love to Him, and your own personal assurance of His love to you. You must translate the generally acknowledged fact of His love into a living fact in your own experience. And remember that the measure in which you think about Christ, and in which your thoughts about Him have power over your personal character and your daily life, is the measure of your religion. This, and no more than this, is the extent to which you are a Christian. This, and no more than this, is the extent to which there will be any reality, any power, any real blessing in your service to others, or anything pleasing to God in your obedience. May God make you real — stamp Divine reality on everything within you, and in all your outward life!
"I will give thee a place of access." We owe this beautiful promise to the Revised Version (Zechariah 3:7
), for in the Authorised Version the text has quite a meaningless rendering. "I will give thee place to walk among these that stand by." The immediate reference of the promise is, of course, to Joshua, the high priest. It was his privilege and his duty, clothed in white linen, to enter the most holy place once a year, there to make atonement for the sins of the people. Instead, however, of this great office being fulfilled, the prophet sees Joshua clothed in filthy garments — the type of his own sins and of those people of his "standing," — with Satan at his right hand to be his "adversary." it appeared impossible that such a high priest, or such a nation, should ever be permitted to draw near the living God. Then comes the symbolic action of the prophetic vision. The filthy garments are taken away by command of God, from Joshua, and are replaced by "rich apparel," the mitre of high priestly office is set on his head, and the promise is made — made both to him and to his people — "I will give thee a place of access." In spite of Israel's unworthiness and sin, God Himself would permit His people to draw near to Him. Such were the original scope and meaning of these words. "I will give thee a place of access." How little we realise the great privilege of this great promise! To say that we can draw near to God is only to utter one of the commonest of all truisms; but familiar as the truth may be to us, let us never forget that there was a time when it would have been regarded as the strangest and most incredible of all truths. A Jew was never permitted in his own person to come near to God; he had to approach the Most High from a distance, and even the high priest himself was only allowed the. privilege of a place of access "once in" each year. Such were the awful holiness and the ineffable majesty of the Most High, and such the terrible sin and guilt of man, that no human soul dared to draw near the consuming fire. God was a God "far off" and not "nigh" to a Jew. There was no "place of access" opened for all the world. We do not wonder, therefore, at the exaltation and rapture with which the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews dwells on what Christ had done, in opening a "new and living way" to God, even into the holy place, by His blood, and on the fact that His sacrifice for sin makes it now possible for the sinful and guilty with "boldness to enter into the Holiest." It was the fulfilment of the promise of the text, "I will give thee a place of access." And this is the astonishing privilege of every child of man today. Howsoever unworthy and sinful he may be, still through the blood of Jesus, he may freely draw near to God. He may stand in the presence of the Eternal. He may speak face to face with God, and hear God speak to him. "In Christ Jesus," to use St. Paul's words, "we that once were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."
TopicsAdmonished, Angel, Charge, Enjoined, Forewarned, Joshua, Messenger, Protest, Protested, Saying, Statement
Outline1. Under the type of Joshua, the high priest, receiving clean garments,6. and a covenant of promise,8. Christ the Branch and Cornerstone is promised.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesZechariah 3:6
7377 high priest, OT
4111 angels, servants
LibraryJune 24. "I Will Clothe Thee with Change of Raiment" (Zech. Iii. 4).
"I will clothe thee with change of raiment" (Zech. iii. 4). For Paul every exercise of the Christian life was simply the grace of Jesus Christ imparted to him and lived out by him, so that holiness was to put on the Lord Jesus and all the robes of His perfect righteousness which he loves to describe so often in his beautiful epistles. "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved," he says to the Colossians, "bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering"; and, …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
The Right of Entry
'I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.'--ZECHARIAH iii. 7. A WORD or two of explanation will probably be necessary in order to see the full meaning of this great promise. The Prophet has just been describing a vision of judgment which he saw, in which the high priest, as representative of the nation, stood before the Angel of the Lord as an unclean person. He is cleansed and clothed, his foul raiment stripped off him, and a fair priestly garment, with 'Holiness to the Lord' written …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
A vision of Judgement and Cleansing
'And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3. Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel. 4. And He answered and spake unto those that stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Change of Raiment
"Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments."--Zech. iii. 4, 5. G. Ter Steegen. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 Lord Jesus, all my sin and guilt Love laid of old on Thee, Thy love the cross and sorrow willed, Love undeserved by me. The victory over death and hell Thou, Lord, for me didst win; And Thou hast nailed upon …
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)
Home Occupations and Travels in England and Wales.
1828--1833. On their return home Martha Yeardley was attacked with a severe illness, consequent probably on hard travelling and bad accommodation during the journey. Under date of the 18th of the Fifth Month, J.Y. writes:-- How circumstances change! Last Yearly Meeting we were in London with the prospect of a long journey before us, and now my dear Martha is on a bed of sickness, and I have myself suffered; but through all there is a degree of peaceful resignation in the belief that all is done …
John Yeardley—Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel
Some Helps to Mourning
Having removed the obstructions, let me in the last place propound some helps to holy mourning. 1 Set David's prospect continually before you. My sin is ever before me' (Psalm 51:3). David, that he might be a mourner, kept his eye full upon sin. See what sin is, and then tell me if there be not enough in it to draw forth tears. I know not what name to give it bad enough. One calls it the devil's excrement. Sin is a complication of all evils. It is the spirits of mischief distilled. Sin dishonours …
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12
How to Make Use of Christ, as Truth, for Comfort, when Truth is Oppressed and Born Down.
There is another difficulty, wherein believing souls will stand in need of Christ, as the truth, to help them; and that is, when his work is overturned, his cause borne down, truth condemned, and enemies, in their opposition to his work, prospering in all their wicked attempts. This is a very trying dispensation, as we see it was to the holy penman of Psalm lxxiii. for it made him to stagger, so that his feet were almost gone, and his steps had well nigh slipt; yea he was almost repenting of his …
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life
The Sum and Substance of all Theology
Note: On Tuesday, June 25th, 1861, the beloved C. H. Spurgeon visited Swansea. The day was wet, so the services could not be held in the open-air; and, as no building in the town was large enough to hold the vast concourses of people who had come from all parts to hear the renowned preacher, he consented to deliver two discourses in the morning; first at Bethesda, and then at Trinity Chapel. At each place he preached for an hour and a quarter. The weather cleared up during the day; so, in the evening, …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916
Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 26-38. ^c 26 Now in the sixth month [this is the passage from which we learn that John was six months older than Jesus] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth [Luke alone tells us where Mary lived before the birth of Jesus. That Nazareth was an unimportant town is shown by the fact that it is mentioned nowhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, nor in Josephus, who mentions two hundred four towns and cities of Galilee. The …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
Concerning Worship.  All true and acceptable worship to God is offered in the inward and immediate moving and drawing of his own Spirit which is neither limited to places times, nor persons. For though we are to worship him always, and continually to fear before him;  yet as to the outward signification thereof, in prayers, praises, or preachings, we ought not to do it in our own will, where and when we will; but where and when we are moved thereunto by the stirring and secret inspiration …
Robert Barclay—Theses Theologicae and An Apology for the True Christian Divinity
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit
Having spoken of the general notion of blessedness, I come next to consider the subjects of this blessedness, and these our Saviour has deciphered to be the poor in spirit, the mourners, etc. But before I touch upon these, I shall attempt a little preface or paraphrase upon this sermon of the beatitudes. 1 Observe the divinity in this sermon, which goes beyond all philosophy. The philosophers use to say that one contrary expels another; but here one contrary begets another. Poverty is wont to expel …
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12
Thoughts Upon the Appearance of Christ the Sun of Righteousness, or the Beatifick vision.
SO long as we are in the Body, we are apt to be governed wholly by its senses, seldom or never minding any thing but what comes to us through one or other of them. Though we are all able to abstract our Thoughts when we please from matter, and fix them upon things that are purely spiritual; there are but few that ever do it. But few, even among those also that have such things revealed to them by God himself, and so have infinitely more and firmer ground to believe them, than any one, or all their …
William Beveridge—Private Thoughts Upon a Christian Life
Meditations on the Hindrances which Keep Back a Sinner from the Practice of Piety.
Those hindrances are chiefly seven:-- I. An ignorant mistaking of the true meaning of certain places of the holy Scriptures, and some other chief grounds of Christian religion. The Scriptures mistaken are these: 1. Ezek. xxxiii. 14, 16, "At what time soever a sinner repenteth him of his sin, I will blot out all," &c. Hence the carnal Christian gathers, that he may repent when he will. It is true, whensoever a sinner does repent, God will forgive; but the text saith not, that a sinner may repent whensoever …
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety
Deliverance from the condemning sentence of the Divine Law is the fundamental blessing in Divine salvation: so long as we continue under the curse, we can neither be holy nor happy. But as to the precise nature of that deliverance, as to exactly what it consists of, as to the ground on which it is obtained, and as to the means whereby it is secured, much confusion now obtains. Most of the errors which have been prevalent on this subject arose from the lack of a clear view of the thing itself, and …
Arthur W. Pink—The Doctrine of Justification
How Christ is Made Use of for Justification as a Way.
What Christ hath done to purchase, procure, and bring about our justification before God, is mentioned already, viz. That he stood in the room of sinners, engaging for them as their cautioner, undertaking, and at length paying down the ransom; becoming sin, or a sacrifice for sin, and a curse for them, and so laying down his life a ransom to satisfy divine justice; and this he hath made known in the gospel, calling sinners to an accepting of him as their only Mediator, and to a resting upon him for …
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life
The Covenant of Works
Q-12: I proceed to the next question, WHAT SPECIAL ACT OF PROVIDENCE DID GOD EXERCISE TOWARDS MAN IN THE ESTATE WHEREIN HE WAS CREATED? A: When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him upon condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge upon pain of death. For this, consult with Gen 2:16, 17: And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
CHAPTERS I-VIII Two months after Haggai had delivered his first address to the people in 520 B.C., and a little over a month after the building of the temple had begun (Hag. i. 15), Zechariah appeared with another message of encouragement. How much it was needed we see from the popular despondency reflected in Hag. ii. 3, Jerusalem is still disconsolate (Zech. i. 17), there has been fasting and mourning, vii. 5, the city is without walls, ii. 5, the population scanty, ii. 4, and most of the people …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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