7 APRIL (PREACHED THURSDAY 6 APRIL 1774)
Have you a Counsellor in heaven?
‘Now why dost thou cry out aloud? Is there no king in thee? Is thy counsellor perished? For pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.’ Micah 4:9
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Psalm 16:1–11
But is thy counsellor perished? thy advocate? thy friend? Have poor sinners a manager in heaven or have they not? If Satan would object to purpose, he should prove either that Christ did not die, or that death had full dominion so that he could not rise again. But see Romans 8:34, Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Well, if he is not perished but still lives, see what follows:
(i) He pleads for us. How? In general see John 17, in particular see Luke 22:30–31.
(ii) He answers for us (Zechariah 3:2).
(iii) He makes our prayers (poor as they are) acceptable (Revelation 8:3).
(iv) He obtains and bestows every needful blessing (Psalm 68:18).
In consequence of all this, he is able to save to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25), and as willing as able. Why is not his Word worthy your credit? See John 6:37. Why then dost thou cry and refuse to be comforted? It is because your heart still cleaves to the old covenant—because you do not look simply to Christ, but are labouring for something in yourself, which you will not be able to find.
To some I might change the question—Why do not you cry? Your lives, your language proclaim there is no King in you—unless I should say, the prince of darkness. But Jesus is not your King, or Counsellor. He lives and pleads, but you have no good hope that he pleads for you. On the contrary, you crucify him afresh and put him to open shame. Is it not time to stop? If you have him not for your Saviour, he will be your Judge. If you do not cry now, you will cry for ever. Yet despair not—there is still hope. There is forgiveness with him.
FOR MEDITATION: We have indeed no sufficiency in ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God. Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. May this good and great Shepherd ever be your guide, your guard, your counsellor, and your consolation.
John Newton to William Wilberforce (the MP’s uncle), 19 October 1767
SERMON: MICAH 4:9 [2/2]