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Thomas Goodwin – Why You Should Read Thomas Goodwin

12 Jun
thomasgoodwin

1600-1680. Member of the Westminster Assembly. Chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. Independent. Co-pastor with John Owen.

Here is how his discourse on the Heart of Christ begins:

This discourse that follows, which lays open THE HEART of Christ, as now he is in heaven, sitting at God’s right hand and interceding for us; how it is affected and graciously disposed towards sinners on earth that do come to him; how willing to receive them; how ready to entertain them; how tender to pity them in all their infirmities, both sins and miseries. The scope and use whereof will be this, to hearten and encourage believers to come more boldly unto the throne of grace, unto such a Saviour and High Priest, when they shall know how sweetly and tenderly his heart, though he is now in his glory, is inclined towards them; and so to remove that great stone of stumbling which we meet with (and yet lieth unseen) in the thoughts of men in the way to faith, that Christ being now absent, and withal exalted to so high and infinite a distance of glory, as to ‘sit at God’s right hand,’ &c., they therefore cannot tell how to come to treat with him about their salvation so freely, and with that hopefulness to obtain, as those poor sinners did, who were here on earth with him. Had our lot been, think they, but to have conversed with him in the days of his flesh, as Mary, and Peter, and his other disciples did here below, we could have thought to have been bold with him, and to have had anything at his hands. For they beheld him afore them a man like unto themselves, and he was full of meekness and gentleness, he being then himself made sin, and sensible of all sorts of miseries; but now he is gone into a far country, and hath put on glory and immortality, and how his heart may be altered thereby we know not. The drift of this discourse is therefore to ascertain poor souls, that his heart, in respect of pity and compassion, remains the same it was on earth; that he intercedes there with the same heart he did here below; and that he is as meek, as gentle, as easy to be entreated, as tender in his bowels; so that they may deal with him as fairly about the great matter of their salvation, and as hopefully, and upon as easy terms to obtain it of him, as they might if they had been on earth with him, and be as familiar with him in all their needs—than which nothing can be more for the comfort and encouragement of those who have given over all other lives but that of faith, and whose souls pursue after strong and entire communion with their Saviour Christ.


~Thomas Goodwin~




The Works of Thomas Goodwin, vol. 4: The Heart of Christ Towards Sinners on Earth (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1862), 95–96.

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Charles Hodge – The Imputation of Righteousness

30 Apr

It seems unnecessary to remark that this does not, and cannot mean that the righteousness of Christ is infused into the believer, or in any way so imparted to him as to change, or constitute his moral character. Imputation never changes the inward, subjective state of the person to whom the imputation is made. When sin is imputed to a man he is not made sinful; when the zeal of Phinehas was imputed to him, he was not made zealous. When you impute theft to a man, you do not make him a thief. When you impute goodness to a man, you do not make him good. So when righteousness is imputed to the believer, he does not thereby become subjectively righteous. If the righteousness be adequate, and if the imputation be made on adequate grounds and by competent authority, the person to whom the imputation is made has the right to be treated as righteous. And, therefore, in the forensic, although not in the moral or subjective sense, the imputation of the righteousness of Christ does make the sinner righteous. That is, it gives him a right to the full pardon of all his sins and a claim in justice to eternal life.

~Charles Hodge~


Systematic Theology, vol. 3 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 144–145. Free PDF | $2.99 Kindle Version

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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
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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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