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is people that KNOW the joyful sound.” Why! some say, everybody knows it! Why! it is just the very thing everybody does NOT know.
And to show you that I am right in this, notice the words of our Lord and Master, as recorded in Mat. xiii. 13–16. He spoke to some in parables, and why? It was in order that they might not know. You may read it for yourselves :- “ Therefore speak I to them in parables : because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith:- By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand ; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed ; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.' "But”—you see there is 6 but." This is a blessed
but,' and not a damning but ;—“But blessed are your eyes for they see: and your ears for they hear.' And blessed are your hearts for they understand. Now you see the difference. There are some that say they see and do not see. And there are some that say they know and understand, but they know not. And then we learn who they are that do know, and see, and hear, and understand. “ Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.” Now, those who see and know things spiritually have been wrought in effectually by God's grace.
And those who know the joyful sound have been made acquainted with a few secrets. Their ears have been spiritually opened, their hearts have been spiritually circumcised, and they are sealed by the Holy Ghost unto the day of redemption. The Lord opened the heart of Lydia, and then she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul (Acts xvi). It is a grand thing to know the joyful sound. The seeing eye, the hearing ear, and the understanding heart, are all gifts which come from the Lord. To those who know the Lord, “every bitter thing is sweet.” I will now point out some persons in the Scriptures who knew and understood the joyful sound. And there are some of you in this congregation who know and understand it too. You would not come here so often if you did not. Job says :- -“I know that my Redeemer liveth.” What does David say? “I know that Thou favourest me.” Well, it is a favour that we are saved at all. Solomon knew that what God doeth shall stand fast, and that it abides for ever. Nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it. “ This God does that he may be feared, that men may know that Thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth." Paul said:—“I know whom I have believed," and I know “That He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day (II Timothy i. 12). John says,—“We know that we have eternal life”
i. (John i. 5-13). “We know that we are of God” (John i. 5–19). “We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." “ We know." What? Why! when we shall have done here, we know that we shall be "like" the Lord in His eternal house, and “We
shall see Him as He is.” 66 We know this.” St. Paul knew this when he said :—“We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens." We know this. These are great things considered in connection with knowing “the joyful sound.” “ Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound.” My brethren, do you know it ? Oh! may these words ring in your ears.
To know. “This is life eternal to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” “ Blessed is the people that know.” Yes, “ Blessed !"
And what are they blessed with ? They are blessed with the spirit of Christ Jesus the Lord. They are all spiritually blessed. God's blessing is on them in Christ. When St. Paul said, -that God gave up His Son, and spared Him not, “but delivered Him up for us all,” He, at the same time, "freely, fully, and everlastingly gave us all things” in Him (Rom. viii. 32). If
you have the Lord Jesus Christ, look how you stand. You have all the necessary blessings from God in Christ Jesus the Lord. Let me just mention one or two blessings. In the xxxii. Psalm you
read :- “ Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.”
There are three things: Their “transgression is forgiven," their "sin is covered," “the Lord imputeth not iniquity" unto them. The idea is this : The transgression is lifted off the sinner and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and He has carried it away and buried it out of God's sight. The word "cover" there means to bury. “ Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is buried in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.” And “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.” He has imputed it to Christ and taken satisfaction out of Him. He will not now reckon it against the sinner. These are some of the blessings. I might mention more. Just look at the 5th chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel Our Lord in His sermon on the Mount says that—"The poor in spirit” are blessed, “ for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” “ Blessed are those that inourn, for they shall be comforted." Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." “Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled "_filled with the Lord Himself. “ Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”—they shall see Him in Christ. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” for they shall bear the hononrable title of “ The children of God.” “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in Heaven : for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound." ."Blessed is the people," and being blessed, , they cannot be cursed. Those whom God has blessed are blessed for
This is the blessedness of the people that know the joyful sound.”
We shall now consider our Third point. The Promise or Privilege of
knowing the joyful sound. They shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance." What do we understand by walking in the light of God's countenance ? By God's countenance I understand His favour, His gracious smiles and comforts, and the pleasure we have in communion and fellowship with Him through Christ Jesus our Lord. read of those who walked “in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost” (Acts ix. 31). It is a great privilege for a person to draw near to God through Jesus Christ the Lord, and to spread his complaint before Him and to receive an answer of peace, comfort, and joy. Jesus Christ is our mercy seat where God meets us and communes with us.
It is from between the Cherubims He blesses us, and causes the light of His countenance to shine upon us. Cause thy face now to shine upon us and we shall be saved. But to proceed,
But to proceed, “They shall walk O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance.” Now, we read of
who walked with the Lord. One of the first was Enoch, “ Enoch walked with God : and he was not for God took him." Before his translation he had this testimony—that he pleased God. He lived in communion with God upon earth, and is now before the throne in Heaven. Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Abraham walked with God, and Micah speaks of those who walked with God. “ He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good ; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” We may well walk humbly with God when we know Him aright—when we know Him in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We walk humbly with Him, not with a proud and haughty spirit. I shall now point out to you more fully what is implied in walking with God. Life is implied. Did you ever see a dead body come out of its grave and walk ? Never! And there is just as much
in a dead soul to rise out of its sins and walk with God. The sinner has no spiritual power until quicked by the Holy Ghost. You hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and in sins. If I could put this more strongly, I would do so, but I know not how. The natural man's walk is described thus—“Wherein in times past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the Spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience : among whom also we all bad our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind ; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others " (Eph. ii. 2, 3 We all did this in our unregenerate state. There is no difference until quickened by the Spirit of our God. “But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved.” It is after this we begin to walk with the Lord in the light of His countenance. Light and progress are implied in this walking in newness of life. “ Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord, walk as children of light” (Eph. v. 8). Walking in
v the light and by the light of the Holy Ghost who is light itself. When you have light you see where you are walking, but without the light you walk on in darkness and know not whither you are going. It is
blessed to walk in God's light, in the light of His Christ, in the light of His Spirit, and in the light of his word. Now, in walking there is progress. A Christian is not like a mill horse going its rounds. There is real progress in the divine life. “ Then we shall know, if we follow on to know the Lord” (Hosea vi. 3). “ Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” The Christian goes from strength to strength until he appears before God in Zion. There is also perseverance implied in this walking with God. Our Lord said to His disciples “he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved” (Mat. xxiv. 13). Many make a profession of walking with the Lord, but tlieir walking soon comes to an end. There is no life in it, and consequently there is no continuing. By the very fact of not continuing they shew that they are not alive unto God. Now a Christian cannot give up. He would sometimes if he could, but he cannot. The grace of God prevails over all-doubts and fears. The Spirit perseveres in the believers, and then the believer perseveres to the end.
Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life ;” a crown of righteousness ; a crown of glory.
The following things are also implied in walking with the Lord,—The place from which we are to walk; the way in which we are to walk ; and the rules by which we are to walk; and the end at which we are to aim. The place from which we are to walk. It is one of the hardest things in the world to walk from self. There is such trusting to self. But our Lord
any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Then walk from the world. “Come out from amongst them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing." Also walk from mere outward profession of religion for there is no resting in it. And now for the way in which we are to walk.
“I am the way.” He is the highway, the holy way, the best way, and the only way, the King's highway. “The wayfaring men, though fools shall not err therein” (Isaiah xxxv. 8). Now, as ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord so walk ye in Him. Not in my way, but in thy way; not in my strength, but in thy strength, in Thy righteousness, in Thy love, in Thy grace, walking in Him, in the Lord Jesus Christ. A child of God cannot be lost in this way. Now, what are the rules for this walking with God ? St. Paul has put them very beautifully in two passages. If you look in the 14th verse of the 6th chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians, you will find these words, and I hope they will be impressed upon your minds. He says, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." A new creation in Christ Jesus availeth everything. Now what? “ And as many as walk according to this rule," as many as are new creatures in Christ Jesus, walk according to Christ's rule; and what then ? “ Peace be on them, and mercy,
and upon the Israel of God.” Read the other passage bearing upon the same thing, and then we shall conclude. You will find it in the 3rd chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians, beginning at the 13th verse.
.“ Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended : , but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” The prize unto which God has called me in Christ Jesus, looking for it, says St. Paul, earnestly looking for it and longing for it. “ Let us, therefore, as many as be perfect,” or are real Christians, " be thus minded, and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.” One in Christ, one way, one rule, and one end. Here we have not only the rules given, but the end at which the Christian is aiming. O Lord enable us to forget the things which are behind, and to look forward unto those things which are before, "for in Thy presence is fulness of joy, and at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” And now to conclude this subject just read the verses which follow the text. “In Thy name shall they rejoice all the day; and in Thy righteousness shall they be exalted.” Our rejoicing is always in the Lord, and our exaltation is in His righteousness alone which is like the great mountains. A righteousness which is very high indeed, and which endures for ever. 66 The Lord Himself is the glory of our strength, and by His favour our horn is exalted.” “ The Lord is the defence of His people; the Holy One of Israel is their King. He shall subdue all their enemies, and give them victory in the day of battle.” The Lord has laid help upon One that is mighty, even upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The Father has exalted Him whom He has chosen out of the people. Jesus is now a mighty Prince and a mighty Saviour. And « Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound : they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance."