The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.
them, for there are songs of prisoners in those inspired prophetic rolls. And let Timothy remember that St. Paul wants to see his face again.
I. HERE IS ABSENCE OF MURMURING. We may and ought to learn what the gospel can achieve. Here is Paul prevented from preaching, with arrest laid on all his missionary work. In a dreary Roman dungeon he is "persecuted, but not forsaken;" "struck down, but not destroyed." Yet mark this - he never suffered one murmuring word to pass his lips.
II. HERE IS PRESENCE OF GREETING. He would cheer Timothy, and sends him various greetings, from the Roman saints, as we may see by their names - Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren - send greeting. What sublime self-abnegation there was in St. Paul! Forgetful always of himself! How like the Master! In the hour of expected dissolution he is thinking only of others. - W.M.S.
The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit.
Homilist.I. MAN HAS A SPIRITUAL NATURE. Spirit is something that is unlike matter — indivisible, self-active, self-conscious, religious. That man has a spirit is —
1. A fact most demonstrable.
2. A fact most practically ignored.
3. A fact the most distinguishing — marking us off from all mundane existences.
II. MAN'S SPIRITUAL NATURE NEEDS THE COMPANIONSHIP OF CHRIST.
1. Christ alone can centralise its affections.
2. Christ alone can enlist unbounded reliance.
III. COMPANIONSHIP WITH CHRIST IS AN ATTAINABLE BLESSING.
(Homilist.)I. LET US INQUIRE IN WHAT SENSE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS WITH HIS PEOPLE. We cannot hope to enjoy His bodily presence. It was expedient that He should go away; and still it is expedient that He should remain away. Yet in His spiritual presence He can be with us.
II. He is with us WHEN, AS THE UNIVERSAL RULER, HE GOVERNS ALL THINGS FOR OUR GOOD. But the prayer of Paul for Timothy is, "The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit." What we need is a consciousness of Christ's presence — the enjoyment of fellowship with Him. As the eagle soars towards the sun, so he soars towards God. The spirit of man needs God; especially God manifest in the flesh. It is only as He is with us — filling us with all the fulness of God, that our spirits find rest. Then we are assured of reconciliation, forgiveness, and eternal blessedness.
III. THE REQUIREMENTS OF OUR EARTHLY STATE cause us to need the presence of Christ. We are exposed to temptation; how shall we resist it unless He help us?
IV. Have you ever thought of THE GREAT AND MANIFOLD BLESSINGS which the presence of Christ brings to us? No visitor brings such gifts.
1. How largely He increases our store of knowledge! What glorious revelations He makes of His own beauty and worth, shining before us, like the sun, in the brightness of His own light!
2. Then, among the blessed results of Christ's presence, and not the least, is assimilation to His image.
I. FROM A CONSIDERATION OF THE INQUIRY. In no other way, except by the presence of Jesus, can we arrive at a purifying and sanctifying knowledge of the Word of God.
II. The importance of praying, the Lord Jesus be with our spirits, will be manifest FROM THE NECESSITY OF HIS PRESENCE IN OUR DEVOTIONS. This alone can cause our prayers to go up before God as a sweet savour.
III. The importance of praying for the presence of Christ is manifest FROM ITS INFLUENCE ON OUR INTERCOURSE WITH THE IMPENITENT. Do we desire to set an example such as Christ set, and to have such an influence as He shed around Him, and to cause the mite of our moral power to fall into the current of that which our God, and the Lamb, and all the saints, have poured forth on an ungodly world? And shall we not desire that the Lord Jesus Christ would be with our spirits?
IV. WHAT CAN WE DO IN OUR INTERCOURSE WITH THE CHURCH WITHOUT THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST?
V. WHAT CAN WE DO IN SICKNESS WITHOUT THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST? Conclusion:
1. From the subject we learn the reason why so many are fluctuating in their religious characters. It is because the Lord Jesus Christ is not with their spirits.
2. The subject shows why there is so little effort for the salvation of the impenitent amongst us. It is because the Lord Jesus Christ is not enough with our spirits.
3. The subject explains some facts, which we have long witnessed but have not understood.(1) It explains why so many, who have named the name of Christ, do not appear to be Christians.(2) It explains why so many, who occasionally appear to be Christians, are generally without any evidence of piety — The Lord Jesus Christ is not with their spirit.(3) It explains why so many are changing their religious views and feelings, while they do not appear to wish to abandon religion itself — The Lord Jesus Christ is not with them.(4) It shows why the impenitent have so little respect for the Christian character amongst us — The Lord Jesus is not with us, as a Church.(5) It shows why, when so many persons in the Church and around it profess to be full of faith and love, there are few or none converted.(6) It shows what is necessary to a genuine revival of religion — That the Lord Jesus be with us.(7) It shows that all who are not labouring for one, seeking for one, and praying for one, are without Christ — He is not with them.
(J. Foot, D. D.)
Grace be with you
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