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The Potter's Clay

Scripture, Theology, the Christian worldview, and other ramblings.

23 December 2007

Only the blood of Christ can soften it!


--Thomas Watson, "The Beatitudes" 1660

"I will take away their hearts of stone and
give them tender hearts!" Ezekiel 11:19

Oh the misery of a hard heart!

A heart of stone is insensible. A stone is not
sensible of anything. Lay a heavy weight upon
it; or grind it to powder—it does not feel. So it
is with a hard heart—it is insensible to both its
own sin and God's wrath. The stone in the
kidneys is felt—but not the stone in the heart.
"Having lost all sensitivity" (Ephesians 4:19).

A heart of stone is inflexible. A stone will not
bend. Just so, the hard heart will not comply with
God's command. It will not stoop to Christ's scepter.
A heart of stone will sooner break, than bend by
repentance. It is so far from yielding to God, that
like the anvil—it beats back the hammer. A heart
of stone will "always resist the Holy Spirit." (Acts 7:51)

A hard heart is void of all grace. While the wax is
hard—it will not take the impression of the seal.
Just so, the heart, while it is hard—will not take the
stamp of grace. It must first be made tender and
melting. The plough of the Word will not penetrate
a hard heart!

A hard heart is good for nothing—but to make
fuel for hellfire. "Because of your hardness and
unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for
yourself in the day of wrath!" (Romans 2:5).

Hell is full of hard hearts—there is not one soft heart
there! There is much weeping there—but no softness.
We read of "vessels of wrath—prepared for destruction"
(Romans 9:22). Hardness of heart, fits these vessels
for hell, and makes them like withered wood, which
is fit only to burn!

Hardness of heart makes a man's condition worse
than all his other sins besides. If one is guilty of
great sins—yet if he can mourn, there is hope. But
hardness of heart binds guilt fast upon the soul. It
seals a man under wrath. It is not heinousness of
sin—but hardness of heart—which damns!

Oh the misery of a hard heart!

A stony heart is the worst heart. If it were bronze,
it might be melted in the furnace; or it might be
bent with the hammer. But a stony heart is such,
that only the arm of God can break it—and only
the blood of Christ can soften it!

"I will take out your stony heart of sin and give
you a new, obedient heart." Ezekiel 36:26

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17 December 2007

The way to be like Jesus



--Thomas Watson, "The Beatitudes" 1660

To render evil for evil is brutish;
to render evil for good is devilish;
to render good for evil is Christian.

"Blessed are the meek." Matthew 5:5

Meekness is a grace whereby we are enabled by
the Spirit of God, to moderate our angry passions.
Meekness has a divine beauty and sweetness in
it. This meekness consists in three things:
the bearing of injuries,
the forgiving of injuries,
the recompensing good for evil.

Meekness is opposed to:
anger,
malice,
revenge and
evil-speaking.

Meekness is a great ornament to a Christian. "The
ornament of a meek spirit—which is so precious to
God!" (1 Peter 3:4). How lovely is a saint in God's
eye, when adorned with this jewel! No garment
is more befitting to a Christian, than meekness.
Therefore we are bid to put on this garment, "Put
on therefore as the elect of God—meekness."
(Colossians 3:12)

Meekness is a noble and excellent spirit. A meek man
is a valorous man. He gets a victory over himself! Anger
arises from weakness of character. The meek man is able
to conquer his fury. "He who is slow to anger is better
than the mighty; controlling one's temper is better than
capturing a city." (Proverbs 16:32). To yield to one's
anger is easy—it is swimming along with the tide of
corrupt nature. But to turn against nature—to resist
anger, to "overcome evil with good"—this is truly
Christian.

Meekness is the best way to conquer and melt the
heart of an enemy. Meekness melts and thaws the
heart of others. The greatest victory is to overcome
an enemy—without striking a blow! Mildness prevails
more than fierceness. Anger makes an enemy of a
friend. Meekness makes a friend of an enemy.

Meekness is the way to be like Jesus—"Learn of
Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart." Mat. 11:29.
It is not profession which makes us like Jesus—but
imitation. Where meekness is lacking—we are like
brutes. Where it is present—we are like Jesus.

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03 December 2007

All enameled and interwoven with free grace!


-Thomas Watson, "A Divine Cordial" 1663

"Brothers, think of what you were when you were called.
Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many
were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God
chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the
strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the
despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify
the things that are, so that no one may boast before
Him." 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Without this effectual call—there is no going to heaven.

This effectual call, is a GRACIOUS call. It is the fruit and
product of free grace! That God should call some—and
not others; that some should be taken—and others left;
that one should be called who is of a more wicked
disposition—while another of a sweeter temper, is
rejected; here is free grace! That the poor should be
rich in faith, heirs of a kingdom (James 2:5), and the
nobles and great ones of the world for the most part
rejected; this is free and rich grace! "Even so, Father,
for so it seemed good in Your sight!" (Matthew 11:26)

That under the same sermon one should be effectually
wrought upon—while another is no more moved than a
dead man with the sound of music; that one should hear
the Spirit's voice in the Word—while another does not
hear it; that one should be softened and moistened with
the influence of heaven—while another, like Gideon's dry
fleece, has no dew upon him; behold here distinguishing,
sovereign grace!

What is the cause of this—but the free grace of God! It
is all enameled and interwoven with free grace!
Those who are monuments of God's mercies, will be
trumpets of His praise. "So that no one may boast
before Him!" 1 Corinthians 1:29

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