Archive for the ‘Puritan Faith’ Category

Our Sin is cast into the depths

Posted: December 23, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Puritan Faith

“God the Father takes the pen, dips it in the blood of his Son, crosses off the sinner’s accounts, and blots them out of his debt-book.

The sinner outside of Christ is bound over to the wrath of God; he is under an obligation in law to go to the prison of hell, and there to lie until he has paid the utmost farthing.  But now, being united to Christ, God says, ‘Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom!’ (Job 33:24). The sentence of condemnation is reversed, the believer is absolved, and set beyond the reach of the condemning law. His sins, which were set before the Lord (Psalm 90:8), so that they could not be hidden—God now takes and casts them all behind his back (Isaiah 38:17).

Yes, he casts them into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). What falls into a brook may be retrieved—but what is cast into the sea cannot be recovered. But there are some shallow places in the sea; true—but their sins are not cast in there—but into the depths of the sea; and the depths of the sea are devouring depths, from whence they shall never come forth again. But what if they do not sink? He will cast them in with force, so that they shall go to the bottom, and sink as lead in the mighty waters of the Redeemer’s blood.

— Thomas Boston
Human Nature in Its Fourfold State
(Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth, 1964)

 

HT:OFI

…for a more substantive assessment of Whitefield’s preaching, we turn to a fellow believer, and a fellow evangelical, a fellow Anglican, and a fellow Calvinist: J.C. Ryle (1816-1900). In his short book on Whitefield, Ryle gives six characteristics of Whitefield’s preaching:

1. A Pure Gospel.
First and foremost, you must remember Whitefield preached a singularly pure gospel. Few men ever gave their hearers so much wheat and so little chaff. He did not get into his pulpit to talk about his party, his cause, his interest, or his office. He was perpetually telling you about your sins, your heart, and Jesus Christ, in the way that the Bible speaks of them. “Oh, the righteousness of Jesus Christ,” he would frequently say; “I must bo excused if I mention it in almost all my sermons!” This, you may be sure, is the corner stone of all preaching that God honors. It must be preeminently a manifestation of truth.”

– See more at:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scriptorium/2009/12/happy-birthday-george-whitefield/

This Sunday is Reformation Sunday which honors the Reformation of the church. Here is a snippet Steve Lawson gave on sola scriptura:

Arising out of the reformation of the 16th century, there sounded a trumpet blast that rallied the hearts of God’s people: sola Scriptura, which is Latin for “Scripture Alone.” It really served as the foundation for the four other solas: sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus, and soli Deo gloria. And these five fit together as one statement of truth—one declaration of the true saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Think of a magnificent, ancient temple and a foundation upon which everything rests. That’s sola Scriptura. Everything that we believe, obey, embrace, and hold dear in the convictions of our soul is based upon this foundation of sola Scriptura. Rome said, “We accept Scripture, but it is Scripture and. Scripture and church tradition; Scripture and ecclesiastical hierarchies; Scripture and the church councils; Scripture and papal authority. And the Reformers said, coming back to the Bible, “No, it is sola Scriptura: Scripture alone.” And if anything else is added to the foundation of the church, there will be cracks in the foundation and it will not hold up the teaching and the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  At the same time, they said no to the Anabaptists and the libertines who wanted to add their dreams and visions and new revelations. They said no; it is Scripture alone.

Upon this foundation are three massive pillars, which really frame and uphold the Gospel in its most basic and elementary proposition: Sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus – salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Rome wanted to add good works and church membership and church attendance and baptism and marriage and last rites and indulgences and Mary and the treasury of merit. And they just backed up their dump truck and kept adding and adding and adding all kinds of rubbish. And the Reformers, because they came back to the Word of God—Scripture alone—they said, “No. Salvation, the one true saving Gospel, is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.”

And when that is in place, and these three immovable sturdy pillars are in place, then the roof and the pinnacle over the hull that points upward is soli Deo gloria, “for the glory of God alone.” That is the entire Reformation in a nutshell. That is the entire forest in a small acorn. That is the entire matter reduced to its most minimal parts. Everything rests upon sola Scriptura.

Read the rest at link below

http://thecripplegate.com/strange-fire-the-puritan-commitment-to-sola-scriptura-steve-lawson/#more-11492

“Reader, would you have more faith? Then seek to become more acquainted with Jesus Christ. Study your blessed Savior more and more, and strive to know more of the length and breadth and height of His love. Study Him in all His offices, as the Priest, the Physician, the Redeemer, the Advocate, the Friend, the Teacher, the Shepherd of His believing people.

Study Him as one who not only died for you—but is also living for you at the right hand of God; as one who not only shed His blood for you—but daily intercedes for you at the right hand of God; as one who is soon coming again for you, and will stand once more on this earth.

The miner who is fully persuaded that the rope which draws him up from the pit will not break, is drawn up without anxiety and alarm. The believer who is thoroughly acquainted with the fullness of Jesus Christ, is the believer who travels from grace to glory with the greatest comfort and peace.”

– J. C. Ryle, Faith in Christ

Gladness in the gospel

Posted: July 16, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Puritan Faith

Truth will readily be exchanged for error when no more sweetness and joy is to be found in it than is to be found in error. When we find any of the good truths of the gospel coming home to our souls with power, giving us gladness of heart and transforming us into the image and likeness of it, the Holy Spirit is then at his work. He is pouring out his oil.

— John OwenCommunion with God, ed. R. J. K. Law(Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1991), 189

 

 

HT:OFI

How to fight for truth

Posted: July 15, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Puritan Faith

“When the heart is cast into the mold of the doctrine which the mind embraces, . . . when not the sense of the words but of the things is in our hearts, when we have communion with God in the doctrine we contend for, then shall we be garrisoned by the grace of God against all the assaults of men.  Without this, all our contending is of no value to ourselves.  What am I the better, if I can dispute that Christ is God but have no sense that he is a God in covenant with my soul? . . . It is possible to contend for truth in a spirit most opposite to its nature, and most warmly to advocate the rights of a cause from which we ourselves may derive no benefit.  In all cases, it should be remembered, that the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God.”

John Owen, in The Works of John Owen, edited by Thomas Russell (London, 1826), I:164-165.

 

from Ray Orlund’s blog

The redeemed have all their objective good in God. God himself is the great good which they are brought to the possession and enjoyment of by redemption. He is the highest good, and the sum of all that good which Christ has purchased. God is the inheritance of the saints; he is the portion of their souls. God is their wealth and treasure, their food, their life, their dwelling place, their ornament and diadem, and their everlasting honor and glory. They have none in heaven but God; he is the great good which the redeemed are received to at death, and which they are to rise to at the end of the world.

The Lord God, he is the light of the heavenly Jerusalem; and is the ‘the river of the water of life’ that runs, and the tree of life that grows, ‘in the midst of the paradise of God.’ The glorious excellencies and beauty of God will be what will forever entertain the minds of the saints, and the love of God will be their everlasting feast. The redeemed will indeed enjoy other things; they will enjoy the angels, and will enjoy one another: but that which they shall enjoy in the angels, or each other, or in anything else whatsoever, that will yield them delight and happiness, will be what will be seen of God in them.

— Jonathan Edwards”God Glorified in the Work of Redemption” in The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: A Reader, ed. Wilson H. Kimnach, et al74-75

 

HT:OFI

A new creature in Christ

Posted: May 31, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Puritan Faith

If I am a new creature in Christ, then I stand before God, not in myself—but in Christ. He sees no longer me—but only him in whom I am—him who represents me, Christ Jesus, my substitute and surety. In believing, I have become so identified with the Son of his love, that the favor with which he regards him passes over to me, and rests, like the sunshine of the new heavens, upon me.

In Christ, and through Christ, I have acquired a new standing before the Father. I am ‘accepted in the beloved.’

My old standing, that is, that of distance, and disfavor, and condemnation, is wholly removed, and I am brought into one of nearness, and acceptance, and pardon—I am made to occupy a new footing, just as if my old one had never been. Old guilt, heavy as the mountain, vanishes; old dread, gloomy as midnight, passes off; old fear, dark as hell, gives place to the joyful confidence arising from forgiveness and reconciliation, and the complete blotting out of sin.

All things are made new. I have changed my standing before God; and that simply in consequence of that oneness between me and Christ, which has been established, through my believing the record given concerning him. I come to him on a new footing, for I am “in Christ,” and in me there has been a new creation.

— Horatius Bonar“Christ and the New Creation”

 

HT:OFI

Do you mortify ?

Posted: February 11, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Puritan Faith, Sanctification

 “The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin. So the apostle, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth” (Col 3:5). To whom does he speak? Such as were “risen with Christ” (v. 1); such as we’re dead with him (v. 3); such as whose life Christ was and who should “appear with him in glory” (v. 4). Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you. Your being dead with Christ virtually, your being quickened with him, will not excuse you from this work.”

John Owen: (Overcoming Sin and Temptation, 50)

To View Christ’s Glory

Posted: January 2, 2013 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Puritan Faith

“By his cross, divine holiness and justice were exalted, and through his triumph, grace and mercy are poured out to the full. In glorious thoughts of this let my soul live, and in believing it let my soul die. And let the present wonder of this glory make way for the eternal enjoyment of it in its beauty and fullness.

One view of Christ’s glory by faith will scatter all the fears, answer all the objections and disperse all the depressions of poor, tempted, doubting souls. To all believers it is an anchor which they may cast within the veil, to hold them firm and steadfast in all trials, storms and temptations, both in life and in death.”

– John Owen, The Glory of Christ

Cease not a day from this work

Posted: December 20, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Puritan Faith, Sanctification

 “The vigour, and power, and comfort of our spiritual life depends on the mortification of the deeds of the flesh…The choicest believers, who are assuredly freed from the condemning power of sin, ought yet to make it their business all their days to mortify the indwelling power of sin…Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

John Owen: (Mortification of Sin In Believers)

“We should not have so much disputing against the doctrine of election, or hear it condemned (even by good men) as a doctrine of devils. For my own part, I cannot see how true humbleness of mind can be attained without a knowledge of it. And though I will not say, that everyone who denies election is a bad man, yet I will say . . . it is a very bad sign. Such a one, whoever he be, I think cannot truly know himself. For if we deny election we must, partly at least, glory in ourselves. But our redemption is so ordered that no flesh should glory in the Divine presence. And hence it is, that the pride of man opposes this doctrine because according to this doctrine and no other, ‘he that glories, must glory only in the Lord.’ But what shall I say? Election is a mystery that shines with such resplendent brightness that, to make use of the words of one who has drunk deeply of his electing love, it dazzles the weak eyes even of some of God’s dear children.”

– George Whitefield, ‘Christ the Believer’s Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption,’ in The Sermons of George Whitefield (Crossway, 2012), 2:214-25

John Owen Quote

Posted: November 21, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Puritan Faith, Reformation Theology

“God imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent the pains of hell for, either: All the sins of all men. All the sins of some men, or Some sins of all men. In which case it may be said: If the last, some sins of all men, then have all men some sins to answer for, and so shall no man be saved. If the second, that is it which we affirm, that Christ in their stead and room suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the world. But if the first be true, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins? You answer, “Because of their unbelief.” I ask, “Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it is, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!”

– John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, Banner, Carlisle, 1959, p. 173-4

It is into Christ’s death that we are baptised (Rom. 6:3 ), and hence the cross, which was the instrument of that death, is that in which we glory. The cross is to us the payment of the sinner’s penalty, the extinction of the debt, and the tearing up of the hand-writing which was against us.

And as the cross is the payment, so the resurrection is God’s receipt in full, for the whole sum, signed with His own hand. Our faith is not the completion of the payment, but the simple recognition on our part of the payment made by the Son of God.

By this recognition, we become as one with Him who died and rose, that we are thereafter reckoned to be the parties who have paid the penalty, and treated as if it were we ourselves who had died.

Thus are we ‘justified from sin’, and then made partakers of the righteousness of Him, who was not only delivered for our offences, but who was raised again for our justification.”

— Horatius Bonar
God’s Way of Peace

Being in a State of Grace

Posted: October 2, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship, Puritan Faith

“To be in a state of true grace, is to be miserable no more; it is to be happy forever. A soul in this state is a soul near and dear to God. It is a soul much beloved, and very highly valued by God. It is a soul housed in God. It is a soul safe in God’s everlasting arms. It is a soul fully and eminently interested in all the highest and noblest privileges.

The being in a state of grace makes a man’s condition happy, safe, and sure. But the seeing, the knowing of himself to be in such a state, is that which renders his life sweet and comfortable. The being in a state of grace will yield a man a heaven hereafter, but the seeing of himself in this state will yield him both a heaven here and a heaven hereafter; it will render him doubly blessed, blessed in heaven, and blessed in his own conscience.”

— Thomas Brooks
Heaven on Earth
(Edinburgh, UK: Banner of Truth, 1961), 14

 

HT:OFI