*Editors note: Two pages are missing from this talk. It was seven pages long. Pages five and six are missing.
Courage is a secondary grace of God’s character. Courage is the quality of heart and mind that faces danger and difficulties with fortitude, calmness, firmness.
Courage is not born of egotism and self reliance or from recklessness. True courage is realizing the trials and difficulties before you and recognizing your own insufficiency, and looking to God in faith, for the needed assistance.
This enables you to be strong and courageous in the presence of dangers and obstacles which would frighten those who are trusting merely in their own strength.
The opposite of of courage is cowardice.
The Psalmist says “Be of good courage.” Good courage is courage of a good degree, not a little courage. “Be of strong courage” and He shall strengthen thine heart.
God’s courage does not exercise itself in the presence of personal danger, for He can have no personal danger; but His courage acts in relation to the dangers His servants and sons encounter.
Satan and his supporters are the enemies of God, God’s servants, sons, plans and works.
God’s courage is illustrated in the plan He conceived for bringing the universe into existence, as well as filling it with appropriate living creatures.
He knew the dangers that were ahead. Satan’s rebellion, the fall of some of the angels, and the disobedience of man, mans fall into sin and the resulting penalty of death. “Dying, thou shalt die.” “The wages of sin is death.”
It was His courage that made brave in danger such heroes as we have heard discussed this afternoon. Gideon, Samuel, Danial, Abraham, Moses, David and a great host of others.
But the greatest expression of God’s courage is found in connection with His risks related to His endangered sons, chiefly His firstborn Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
To change Him from a spirit being to a human being was a dangerous procedure. To put Him on double trial for life as a human being and as a new creature with the risk that the slightest imperfection would lose for Him His most beloved Son and wreck God’s entire plan for mankind, the new creatures, (the spirit begotten) and angels. This required a very rare courage indeed, perhaps the supreme example of courage of all times.
In Rev. 5: 1 we read about Him that sat on the throne with a book in His right hand, with 7 seals. Jehovah, His throne is the universe, the book is the plan of the ages. 5: 2 Who is worthy to open the book, to have have committed to his care the execution of the Divine Plan. 5: 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth was able to open the book, neither to look there on. 5: 4 And John wept much because no man was found worthy or able to carry out the plan of God. It was for this reason that the only begotten son of God was made a little lower than the angels, a perfect human being, born of a virgin, for the testing of obedience that He might be a corresponding price for the man Adam, by His faithfulness unto death to become a ransom for the whole human race and be found worthy to administrate the whole plan of God. All through His life our Lord developed the graces which make up a perfect character. In the days of his flesh He served God continually. His days were numbered and few and full of trouble, they were days of sorrow and disappointment. Days that often led Him to the throne of heavenly grace to find help in time of need. It was our Lord’s custom, therefore to seek the place of prayer after the busy days of service were ended.The mountains and deserts were his closet; and not infrequently He spent the whole night in prayer. It was from these seasons of secret communion with God that He drew spiritual strength, consolation, and comfort. And yet our Lord Jesus had fears and passed through great mental conflict on our behalf. The conflict began in the temptations in the wilderness immediately following His baptism, and reached a culminating point in the garden of Gethsemane, where as never before He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears.
Jesus and His apostles had left the upper room, where He had celebrated the Supper which was to memorialize His death and walked to the mount of olives, about one mile away. Gethsemane signifies an oil press. It was not a garden as we think of one, but was rather a grove of olive trees with a press. The Jews used the olive for food, and oil to light their lamps. Jesus is the nourisher and enlightener of the world. En route He had tried to warn them of the trying experiences that could be expected in the hours ahead for His hour had come. The ante typical lamb was about to be slain.
Zac. 13: 7 I will smite the Shepard and the sheep shall be scattered.
At the gate of the garden He left eight of the apostles to watch and pray. He went further in with Peter, James and John. They all went to sleep. Of the people there was none with Him. He trod the wine press of grief alone. As He left the three and went further into the grove the weight of oppression seemed suddenly to rest down upon His…..this brings us to the missing pages, so from here we jump to the last page…..
Jesus was proved perfect by His obedience. He was victorious. He received the needed assurance from His Heavenly Father that He had been altogether faithful. All the trials and difficulties which the Master underwent in laying down His life preceded Him as a sweet incense, a precious perfume, beyond the veil into the most holy as shown in the type. And so one was found that was worthy to take the book of Rev. 5 and open the seals thereon. He was a Lamb, our Lord Jesus Christ, an example of Godly courage.