365 days with Newton

26 SEPTEMBER (PREACHED NEW YEAR’S MORNING, 1770)

Dying daily

‘I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.’ 1 Corinthians 15:31
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 Corinthians 15:12–34

This is a very lively and animated expression, especially in the original, where the words stand differently from our version: by your rejoicing which I have—that is, by our mutual rejoicing—I die daily. The Apostle uses these words as one proof of his faith in the doctrine of the resurrection and its influence to bear him above the troubles of life. They may be understood either to express the hazards and designs he was continually exposed to from the world, as a Christian and a preacher, or as the habitual experience and frame of his mind, from a conviction of the vanity of this life and the importance of the next. In this latter sense, the words suggest a subject which seems not unsuitable to our entrance on a new year.
Diary, 20 January 1755:

As merchants begin their books with an inventory of stock, so would I in a brief manner set down my present state for my future government. I trust that the Lord has caused more of his goodness to pass before me this year than I ever before experienced; I hope particularly he has taken me more off my own bottom, and given me to see more of the necessity and the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ in his office of Saviour of his people, and has made me more willing to depend upon his righteousness only. I trust he has enabled me to see more clearly the truth and comfort of those particular doctrines of the glorious gospel which in these days are by many either denied, or explained away. On the other side, I labour under weakness, I am wearied with a body of sin and death; often when I would do good, evil is present with me, my affections are cold and wavering, my faith weak and interrupted. Thus I find my life to be a continual warfare. But blessed be God for the hopes of final victory over sin and corruption, through Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom I hope I can in a low degree say the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.

FOR MEDITATION: Every believer should follow the Apostle’s steps here, so as to be able to say, I die daily.

SERMON: 1 CORINTHIANS 15:31 [1/6]

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