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Thomas Boston – Union With the Unseen Christ

8 Apr
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1676-1732. A Scottish Church Leader. One of the twelve Marrow Men.

Now, since Christ cannot be seen with our eyes, nor touched with our hands, while he is in heaven and we are on earth, and that he is not known to us but by his word of the gospel, what other way can we unite with him, but believing on this unseen Christ? So that faith is the only mean on our part. And its fitness for this work appears, if ye consider,


(1.) That faith is a self-emptying and creature-emptying grace, throwing off and putting away all those things that might keep the soul at a distance from Christ, Phil. 3:8.

And,
 (2.) It is as much fitted to receive an unseen Christ and salvation, which appears to us only in the word, as the hand to receive what can he received into it. For in the word Christ offers himself and all his salvation to us, which we cannot lay hold of by any bodily action whatsoever; but faith crediting the testimony, consenting to, and resting on the offered Christ, with his salvation, does actually get the same, as sure as there is truth in the word of the gospel.

~Thomas Boston~






The Whole Works of Thomas Boston: An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion, Part 1, ed. Samuel M‘Millan, vol. 1 (Aberdeen: George and Robert King, 1848), 547-548.

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Thomas Boston – Three Unions In Our Religion

5 Apr
Thomas Boston2-719007

1676-1732. A Scottish Church Leader. One of the twelve Marrow Men.

There are three mysterious unions in our religion. (1.) The substantial union of the three persons in one Godhead. (2.) The personal union of the divine and human natures in Jesus Christ. (3.) The mystical union betwixt Christ and believers, which is that wherein Christ and believers, are so joined, that they are one Spirit, and one mystical body, 1 Cor. 6:17 and 12:13.





~Thomas Boston~






The Whole Works of Thomas Boston: An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion, Part 1, ed. Samuel M‘Millan, vol. 1 (Aberdeen: George and Robert King, 1848), 546.

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Thomas Boston – Redemption Comes Through Union

3 Apr
Thomas Boston2-719007

1676-1732. A Scottish Church Leader. One of the twelve Marrow Men.

Let us consider how Christ’s redemption is applied to a sinner. It is done by way of uniting the sinner to Christ, as a plaister is applied to a sore, by laying the one upon the other. A sinner is interested in, and put in possession of Christ’s redemption through union with him, 1 Cor. 1:30. ‘Of him are ye in Christ Jesus.’ Men must not think to stand afar from Christ, and partake of the benefits of his death, upon their praying to him for it, as the beggar on his crying gets of the rich man’s money thrown to him; which I observe is the soul ruining notion many have of this matter. But he must unite with Christ, and so partake of the redemption purchased by Christ, as the poor widow drowned in debt, by marrying the rich man, is interested in his substance. It is with Christ himself that all saving benefits are given, Rom. 8:32; and without him none such are received. Believe it, Sirs, that as Adam’s sin could never have hurt you, unless ye had been in him, so Christ’s redemption shall never savingly profit you, unless ye be in him, Eph. 1:7. ‘In whom we have redemption through his blood.’



~Thomas Boston~






The Whole Works of Thomas Boston: An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion, Part 1, ed. Samuel M‘Millan, vol. 1 (Aberdeen: George and Robert King, 1848), 545-546.

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Charles Spurgeon – Behold Christ and Be Conformed

21 Mar

charles-spurgeon2“Well,” say some, “we have proceeded so far, what next shall we do? We know we have an interest in him, but we are still sensible of manifold deficiencies. Next then, let me entreat you to study Christ’s character. This poor Bible is become an almost obsolete book, even with some Christians. There are so many magazines, periodicals, and such like ephemeral productions, that we are in danger of neglecting to search the Scriptures. Christian, wouldst thou know thy Master? Look at him. There is a wondrous power about the character of Christ, for the more you regard it the more you will be conformed to it. I view myself in the glass, I go away, and forget what I was. I behold Christ, and I become like Christ.


Charles Spurgeon




The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, vol. 1 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1855), 164. Vol. 1, Sermon No. 20; Titled: Christ’s People – Imitators of Him; Delivered on Sabbath. Click here for a free PDF of this sermon.

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Charles Spurgeon – Full-Orbed Gospel

13 Mar

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‘Christ died for the ungodly.’—Romans 5:6.

CONSCIENCE in every man must tell him that God is just, and, as a necessary consequence, that God must punish sin. Then comes the question,—How can God be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly? The answer is,—There is redemption in Christ Jesus. God is ‘just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.’ Believers are ‘now justified by his blood.’ In Jesus, God’s justice is vindicated to the very utmost, and yet his mercy shines forth in all its glory. The religion which denies the doctrine of the atonement is not of God, and never can succeed. It may hold together the few, who affect to be intellectual, because they are ignorant. The doctrine of the substitutionary sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ is the fundamental principle of the Christian religion. This is the only doctrine that teaches how justice can have its full dominion, and yet mercy exercise its sway. Here we have a full-orbed mercy and a fullorbed justice; and neither of them eclipses or casts a shadow over the other. All God’s attributes are at one at Calvary. We must stem the torrent of error by preaching ‘Jesus Christ and him crucified.’ As we clearly proclaim the gospel, ‘as the truth is in Jesus,’ we shall undermine every citadel of error and falsehood; and we must often preach the great central truths of the gospel, such as this, ‘In due time Christ died for the ungodly.’ ‘While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ ‘For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.’


~Charles Spurgeon~




C H Spurgeon’s Forgotten Early Sermons: A Companion to the New Park Street Pulpit–28 Sermons Compiled from the Sword and the Trowel (Leominster, Day One Publications, 2010), 57-58. Delivered on Thursday evening, 14 May 1857. Reported by Pastor T.W. Medhurst, Cardiff

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Thomas Boston – Eternal Life Beginning Now

11 Mar

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It is not only life that is promised, but life eternal, life for evermore, Psalm 133:3; which, from the moment it is given, shall never be extinguished, through the ages of time and eternity. In the style of the Scripture, eternal life is not restricted to the state of glory in heaven. But the life communicated to a sinner, in the first moment of his union with Christ, is eternal: it is the eternal life promised in the covenant, according to the Scripture, John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life.” See chap. 5:24; 1 John 5:11, 12. Hence, from the promise of the covenant, “The just shall live by faith,” the apostle proves the perseverance of the saints, Heb. 10:38. A plain evidence, that perseverance in grace, in this our state of imperfection, is a part of the eternal life promised in the covenant, as well as heaven’s happiness. And thus the covenant-life extends to that which now is, and that which is to come, 1 Tim. 4:8.

~Thomas Boston~






The Whole Works of Thomas Boston: Human Nature in Its Fourfold State and a View of the Covenant of Grace, ed. Samuel M‘Millan, vol. 8 (Aberdeen: George and Robert King, 1850), 474.

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Charles Spurgeon – Living Epistles

10 Mar

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13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13 ESV

BEHOLD! what a change divine grace will work in a man, and in how short a time! That same Peter, who so lately followed his Master afar off, and with oaths and curses denied that he knew his name, is now to be found side by side with the loving John, boldly declaring that there is salvation in none other name save that of Jesus Christ, and preaching the resurrection of the dead, through the sacrifice of his dying Lord. The Scribes and Pharisees soon discover the reason of his boldness. Rightly did they guess that it rested not in his learning or his talents, for neither Peter nor John had been educated; they had been trained as fishermen; their education was a knowledge of the sea—of the fisherman’s craft: none other had they; their boldness could not therefore spring from the self-sufficiency of knowledge, but from the Spirit of the living God. Nor did they acquire their courage from their station; for rank will confer a sort of dignity upon a man, and make him speak with a feigned authority even when he has no talent or genius; but these men were, as it says in the original text, “ιδιωται” private men, who stood in no official capacity; men without rank or station. When they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and private individuals, they marvelled, and they came to a right conclusion as to the source of their power—they had been dwelling with Jesus. Their conversation with the Prince of light and glory, backed up, as they might also have known, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, without which even that eminently holy example would have been in vain, had made them bold for their Master’s cause. Oh! my brethren, it were well if this commendation, so forced from the lips of enemies, could also be compelled by our own example. If we could live like Peter and John; if our lives were “living epistles of God, known and read of all men;” if, whenever we were seen, men would take knowledge of us, that we had been with Jesus, it would be a happy thing for this world, and a blessed thing for us. It is concerning that I am to speak to you this morning; and as God gives me grace, I will endeavour to stir up your minds by way of remembrance, and urge you so to imitate Jesus Christ, our heavenly pattern, that men may perceive that you are disciples of the holy Son of God.


~Charles Spurgeon~




The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, vol. 1 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1855), 157. Vol. 1, Sermon No. 20; Titled: Christ’s People – Imitators of Him; Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 29th, 1855.

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John Calvin – Christ, Our Righteousness

6 Mar

It is necessary that Christ should come to our aid; who, being alone just, can render us just by transferring to us his own righteousness. You now see how the righteousness of faith is the righteousness of Christ. When therefore we are justified, the efficient cause is the mercy of God, the meritorious is Christ, the instrumental is the word in connection with faith. Hence faith is said to justify, because it is the instrument by which we receive Christ, in whom righteousness is conveyed to us. Having been made partakers of Christ, we ourselves are not only just, but our works also are counted just before God, and for this reason, because whatever imperfections there may be in them, are obliterated by the blood of Christ; the promises, which are conditional, are also by the same grace fulfilled to us; for God rewards our works as perfect, inasmuch as their defects are covered by free pardon.

~John Calvin~






Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 138–139.

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John Murray – Why Justification by faith?

27 Feb

John Murray

The differentiating quality of faith is that the nature and function of faith is to rest completely upon another. It is this resting, confiding, entrusting quality of faith that makes it appropriate to and indeed exhibitive of the nature of justification. It is consonant with its source as the free grace of God, with its nature as a forensic act, and with its ground as the righteousness of Christ. Faith terminates upon Christ and his righteousness and it makes mention of his righteousness and of his only. This is the Savior’s specific identity in the matter of justification-he is the Lord our righteousness. And in resting upon him alone for salvation it is faith that perfectly dovetails justification in him and in his righteousness. Other graces or fruits of the Spirit have their own specific functions in the application of redemption, but only faith has as its specific quality the receiving and resting of self-abandonment and totality of self-commitment.

This is both the stumbling-block and the irresistible appeal of the gospel. It is the stumbling-block to self-righteousness and self-righteousness is the arch-demon of antithesis to grace. It is the glory of the gospel for the contrite and brokenhearted-if we put any other exercise of the human spirit in the place of faith, then we cut the throat of the only confidence a sinner conscious of his lost and helpless condition can entertain. Justification by faith is the jubilee trumpet of the gospel because it proclaims the gospel to the poor and destitute whose only door of hope is to roll themselves in total helplessness upon the grace and power and righteousness of the Redeemer of the lost. In the words of one, ‘cast out your anchor into the ocean of the Redeemer’s merits’.

~John Murray~






Collected Writings of John Murray – Volume 2: Systematic Theology (Edinburgh, Scotland: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009), 216-217.

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John Newton – Our Great High Priest

6 Feb

It is a comfortable consideration, that he with whom we have to do, our great High Priest, who once put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself, and now for ever appears in the presence of God for us, is not only possessed of sovereign authority and infinite power, but wears our very nature, and feels and exercises in the highest degree those tendernesses and commiserations, which I conceive are essential to humanity in its perfect state. The whole history of his wonderful life is full of inimitable instances of this kind. His bowels were moved before his arm was exerted: he condescended to mingle tears with mourners, and wept over distresses which he intended to relieve. He is still the same in his exalted state; compassions dwell within his heart. In a way inconceivable to us, but consistent with his supreme dignity and perfection of happiness and glory, he still feels for his people. When Saul persecuted the members upon earth, the Head complained from heaven; and sooner shall the most tender mother sit insensible and inattentive to the cries and wants of her infant, than the Lord Jesus be an unconcerned spectator of his suffering children. No, with the eye, and the ear, and the heart of a friend, he attends to their sorrows; he counts their sighs, puts their tears in his bottle; and when our spirits are overwhelmed within us, he knows our path, and adjusts the time, the measure of our trials, and every thing that is necessary for our present support and seasonable deliverance, with the same unerring wisdom and accuracy as he weighed the mountains in scales and hills in a balance, and meted out the heavens with a span. Still more, besides his benevolent, he has an experimental, sympathy. He knows our sorrows, not merely as he knows all things, but as one who has been in our situation, and who, though without sin himself, endured when upon earth inexpressibly more for us than he will ever lay upon us. He has sanctified poverty, pain, disgrace, temptation, and death, by passing through these states: and in whatever states his people are, they may by faith have fellowship with him in their sufferings, and he will by sympathy and love have fellowship and interest with them in theirs. What then shall we fear, or of what shall we complain; when all our concerns are written upon his heart, and their management, to the very hairs of our head, are under his care and providence; when he pities us more than we can do ourselves, and has engaged his almighty power to sustain and relieve us? However, as he is tender, he is wise also: he loves us, but especially with regard to our best interests. If there were not something in our hearts and our situation that required discipline and medicine, he so delights in our prosperity, that we should never be in heaviness. The innumerable comforts and mercies with which he enriches even those we call darker days, are sufficient proofs that he does not willingly grieve us: but when he sees a need-be for chastisement, he will not withhold it because he loves us; on the contrary, that is the very reason why he afflicts. He will put his silver into the fire to purify it; but he sits by the furnace as a refiner, to direct the process, and to secure the end he has in view, that we may neither suffer too much nor suffer in vain.

~John Newton~





John Newton and Richard Cecil, The Works of John Newton, Vol. 2: Letter IV to Mrs. **** (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824) p. 20-21.

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