“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” — Romans 8:26-27.
OUR FATHER, we bless Thee that we dare use that name without a question; for many of us feel the Holy Spirit bearing witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. We thank Thee that we have passed from death unto life, and have been begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. He that sitteth on the throne, and maketh all things new, hath made us new, and called us into newness of life, and made us to feel a life within us which must outlast the ages, for it is the life of God.
Our Father, we would not crouch before Thee, like slaves before a tyrant, but feel the spirit of adoption, which shall draw us into familiar intercourse with Thee, though still with holy trembling, for Thou art God in heaven, and we are still but men upon the earth, and at the very sight of Thee we feel a trembling coming over us; yet is there joy with it; and Thou hast taught us to rejoice, with trembling.
We would in spirit now pass into that inner place, into which the High Priest of Israel dared not come but once a year, and then not without blood. We bless Thee that the veil is rent; and now every believer is made a priest, and permitted to come, into the Holy of Holies, and to draw near unto the mercy-seat, all blood be-sprinkled, without fear of being regarded as an intruder, or smitten down like Nadab and Abihu.
O God, we stand, therefore, now in Thine immediate presence, and our very heart speaks to Thee, and we rejoice that Thou who searchest the heart, knowest what our heart would say; and if these lips should fail to speak out the heart’s utterances, Thou wilt interpret what is written in every bosom; and if no lip this morning should express the desire of certain of Thy saints, because their groanings are such that they cannot utter them themselves, and, therefore, cannot expect anyone else to do it, yet Thou wilt read every heart; for every heart is open before Thee as a book, and Thou readest the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And first, our Father, we would earnestly ask that every believer here may feel the power of the sprinkled blood most vividly and consciously. May we hear Jesus say by it, “Ye are clean, clean every whit;” and may we have a sense of entire security, because Thou hast Thyself said it — ‘‘When I see the blood I will pass over you.” This is the blood of our passover, and no destroying angel can touch us.
Now, Lord, next to this give each one of Thy children power to become the sons of God in their actions. May we become more and more like the First-born; may we begin to exercise our sonship by conquering ourselves.
Help us to put down sin. May every sinful thought be driven out, and every thought be brought into captivity to the Spirit of God. Oh help us to be perfectly consecrated to Thy service, because we are the children of God.
May we not live like children of the devil, neither serve him, nor serve our affections and lusts.
And, oh, grant us also to become sons by reason of the spirit of boldness that we shall feel. Give us not again the spirit of bondage that we may fear; but give us, we pray Thee, more and more of the spirit of adoption whereby we cry Abba, Father.
Lord, purify us! Thou hast pardoned; now purify, until every sin shall be destroyed within our hearts. We pray Thee hear the prayers of Thy children who also ask for strength and succor in their time of need. O Spirit of God help our infirmities. If we be pressed down with a Load of sorrow; if we are in perplexity and know not what to do; if we are slandered and persecuted; if we in any way are made to feel the weight of the cross, help us, we pray Thee. Let not our weakness be staggered by that portion of our estate which comes under the head of tribulation. May we rather rejoice in infirmities, because the power of God doth rest upon us; and may we glory in tribulations also, because these work in us, by Thy good Spirit, all manner of holy graces to Thy glory.
The Lord deliver His people from carking care; and, indeed, from caring about themselves! Oh for power to roll our burden upon our God, and to sing all day long because we are the Lord’s, and He is ours. “The Lord is our Shepherd we shall not want. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our life, and we shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
O Lord, make us a holy and a happy people. Help us to live the separated life, and to tread it with firm and brave step. Help us while we wrestle not with flesh and blood, to light with principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickednesses in high places; and may it be ours to be made, by Thy Spirit, to triumph in every place, being led in triumph by Thee from strength to strength, from time to time, from age to age, till the history of Thy whole church shall be one long triumph for the conquering Lord. Glorify Thyself in us, we pray Thee, even in these mortal bodies, and in our spirits which are Thine.
Now would we put up most fervent and earnest prayer for such who, as yet, do not know Thee. O Spirit of God, convince men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come; and especially convince the human heart of the sin of not believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh make this to be very clear to the heart, that not believing in Jesus is the highest act of enemity against God. The rejection of God when He becomes man and dies out of infinite love — surely this is the highest crime and misdemeanor against the great King. Oh that this might strike, like an arrow, into the heart of some. If they cannot accuse themselves of any gross sin of the body, yet may this grossest of all sins be laid, like a millstone, upon their conscience, that they have refused the Son of God and done despite to His precious blood; and how shall they escape if they neglect so great salvation!
O Spirit of God lay this home; and then convince them of righteousness.
Let them see where righteousness is to be had, even in Christ! Let them know that righteousness is demanded of them; and, if they have it not from Christ, they will never have it, and they must perish in their sins.
And oh, Divine Spirit, set before them judgment to come. Let them tremble at the thought that Thou wilt come, that the great assize shall be held, and rebels against God and His Christ must be punished with eternal destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.
Thus bring the sinner to his knees; thus bring the conscience to tenderness; and then, sweet Spirit, reveal Jesus Christ to the troubled heart, and let there be the peace of God through faith. We have many things to pray for this morning, but, Lord, Thou knowest them all.
We specially pray for our country that God would bless it; and oh, that we might have a season of revival of pure and undefiled religion in the land.
We perceive that Thou canst turn the hearts of the people, as the trees of the wood are moved in the wind. Oh that there might come a deep searching of heart, great thoughtfulness of the Scriptures, reverence of God and the principles of justice and peace and may this land make another stride in onward progress, and out of it may there be gathered a people whom Thou hast chosen, who shall show forth Thy praise.
With equal affection do we pray for all countries and lands; and especially for that kindred nation where our own tongue is spoken, and our own God is worshipped. Oh Lord grant that these two great lands may go hand in hand together in the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lord, put down all false doctrine, all Popery, Mohamedanism and idolatry; and may the day come in which Christ Himself shall be King among the nations, and His reign shall be inaugurated by the manifestation of His redeemed; and unto Him be glory for ever and ever. Glory be unto the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. SERMON: No. 1532. (April 11, 1880.)\par SCRIPTURE: Romans 8:14 to end. HYMNS: 1009, 978, 460.