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John Owen: He Is, He Always Has Been, Precious

11 Aug john-owen

1616 -1683. Preeminent English Puritan theologian, pastor, and independent.

Unto them that believe unto the saving of the soul, he is, he always hath been, precious—the sun, the rock, the life, the bread of their souls—every thing that is good, useful, amiable, desirable, here or unto eternity. In, from, and by him, is all their spiritual and eternal life, light, power, growth, consolation, and joy here; with everlasting salvation hereafter. By him alone do they desire, expect, and obtain deliverance from that woful apostasy from God, which is accompanied with—which containeth in it virtually and meritoriously—whatever is evil, noxious, and destructive unto our nature, and which, without relief, will issue in eternal misery. By him are they brought into the nearest cognation, alliance, and friendship with God, the firmest union unto him, and the most holy communion with him, that our finite natures are capable of and so conducted unto the eternal enjoyment of him.

~John Owen~





The Works of John Owen, Volume 1: The Glory of Christ (ed. William H. Goold, Edinburgh: T&T Clark, n.d.), 5.

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Francis Grimke – A Spurious Evangelism

9 Aug francis-j-grimke1-604x528

francis-j-grimke1-604x528There is an evangelism that is genuine… that means accepting Jesus Christ in reality and not in pretense–an evangelism that carries along with it brotherhood, that so presents Jesus Christ that men see, and see plainly, what is involved in accepting him. The Apostle Paul who understood what was in solved in it, and who preached the true evangel, says: ‘Seeing that ye have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, that is being renewed unto knowledge after the image of Him that created him: where there can not be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.’ An evangelism that permits men to believe that they can be Christians without making an earnest and honest effort to rid themselves of race prejudice is a spurious evangelism.

~Francis J. Grimke~






“Evangelism and Institutes of Evangelism” The Works of Francis J. Grimke, Volume 1: Addresses (ed. Carter G. Woodson, Washington, D.C.: The Associated Publishers, Inc., 1942), 524.

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John Calvin – The Holy Spirit is the Bond of Our Union with Christ

5 Aug

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We must now examine this question. How do we receive those benefits which the Father bestowed on his only-begotten Son—not for Christ’s own private use, but that he might enrich poor and needy men? First, we must understand that as long as Christ remains outside of us, and we are separated from him, all that he has suffered and done for the salvation of the human race remains useless and of no value for us. Therefore, to share with us what he has received from the Father, he had to become ours and to dwell within us. For this reason, he is called “our Head” [Eph. 4:15], and “the first-born among many brethren” [Rom. 8:29]. We also, in turn, are said to be “engrafted into him” [Rom. 11:17], and to “put on Christ” [Gal. 3:27]; for, as I have said, all that he possesses is nothing to us until we grow into one body with him. It is true that we obtain this by faith. Yet since we see that not all indiscriminately embrace that communion with Christ which is offered through the gospel, reason itself teaches us to climb higher and to examine into the secret energy of the Spirit, by which we come to enjoy Christ and all his benefits… the Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ effectually unites us to himself.

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1, p. 537. Book 3.1.1

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John Paton: I Saw Him Watching All the Scene

10 Aug

They encircled us in a deadly ring, and one kept urging another to strike the first blow or fire the first shot. My heart rose up to the Lord Jesus; I saw Him watching all the scene. My peace came back to me like a wave from God. I realized that I was immortal till my Master’s work with me was done. The assurance came to me, as if a voice out of Heaven had spoken, that not a musket would be fired to wound us, not a club prevail to strike us, not a spear leave the hand in which it was held vibrating to be thrown, not an arrow leave the bow, or a killing stone the fingers, without the permission of Jesus Christ, whose is all power in Heaven and on Earth. He rules all Nature, animate and inanimate, and restrains even the Savage of the South Seas. In that awful hour I saw His own words, as if carved in letters of fire upon the clouds of Heaven: “Seek, and ye shall find. Whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” I could understand how Stephen and John saw the glorified Savior as they gazed up through suffering and persecution to the Heavenly Throne!

~John G. Paton~


John G Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides. An Autobiography. (Edinburgh, Scotland; The Banner of Truth Trust; 1994) p. 207.

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Martin Luther – How to Fight For Joy Like a Justified Sinner

27 Jul

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When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: “I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there shall I be also.”

~Martin Luther~






Martin Luther, Letters of Spiritual Counsel, trans. and ed. Theodore G. Tappert (Vancouver, British Columbia: Regent College, 2003), 86–87

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John Calvin – Jesus Christ: The Object of Faith

21 Jul

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Indeed, it is true that faith looks to one God. But this must also be added, “To know Jesus Christ whom he has sent” [John 17:3]. For God would have remained hidden afar off if Christ’s splendor had not beamed upon us. For this purpose the Father laid up with his only-begotten Son all that he had to reveal himself in Christ so that Christ, by communicating his Father’s benefits, might express the true image of his glory [cf. Heb. 1:3]. It has been said that we must be drawn by the Spirit to be aroused to seek Christ; so, in turn, we must be warned that the invisible Father is to be sought solely in this image. Augustine has finely spoken of this matter: in discussing the goal of faith, he teaches that we must know our destination and the way to it. Then, immediately after, he infers that the way that is most fortified against all errors is he who was both God and man: namely, as God he is the destination to which we move; as man, the path by which we go. Both are found in Christ alone. But, while Paul proclaims faith in God, he does not have in mind to overturn what he so often emphasizes concerning faith: namely, that all its stability rests in Christ. Peter, indeed, most effectively connects both, saying that through him we believe in God [1 Peter 1:21].

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) Vol. 1.3.2.1. p. 543-544.

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Jonathan Edwards – The Joy of the Resurrection

10 Dec
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1703-1758. Reformed Preacher and Theologian in New England.

[The] resurrection of Christ is the most joyful event that ever came to pass; because hereby Christ rested from the great and difficult work of purchasing redemption, and received God’s testimony, that it was finished. The death of Christ was the greatest and most wonderful event that ever came to pass; but that has a great deal in it that is sorrowful. But by the resurrection of Christ, that sorrow is turned into joy. The Head of the church, in that great event, enters on the possession of eternal life; and the whole church is, as it were, begotten again to a lively hope, 1 Pet. 1:3. Weeping had continued for a night, but now joy cometh in the morning.

~Jonathan Edwards~






The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 1: A History of the Work of Redemption (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 585-586.

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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
tbost

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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