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Archive for December, 2012

Sinners cannot endure God’s displeasure

December 31, 2012 10 comments

fullerThe only question that remains is, whether thou canst endure his displeasure. And this must surely be a forlorn hope! Can thine heart endure, and thine hands be strong, in the day that he shall deal with thee? Think of the wrath to come. If it were founded in caprice or injustice, supported by conscious innocence, you might possibly bear it; but, should you perish, you will be destitute of this resource. Conscience will eternally say Amen to the justice of your sufferings. If you had mere justice done you, unmixed with mercy, your sufferings would be more tolerable than they will be; but if you perish, you must have your portion with Bethsaida and Chorazin. Goodness gives an edge to justice. The displeasure of a kind and merciful being– and such is the wrath of the Lamb–is insupportable.

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

 

John Tombes’ Catechism on Baptism Pt 6

December 28, 2012 14 comments

17. May we be said to be compleat as the Jews without Infant Baptism?

Our compleatness is in that we have not Ordinances as the Jews had, but we are compleat in that we have all in Christ without them, Col. 2.8,9,10.

18. Have not our Children then less Priviledge than the Jews had?

No: For Circumcision was a priviledge only for a time, and comparitively to the estate of the Gentiles who knew not God; but of itself was a heavy yoke, Acts 15.10. Gal. 5.1,2,3.

19. Why did the Jews then so much contend for it, Acts 15.1,5.?

Because they too much esteemed the Law, and knew not their liberty by the Gospel.

20. Had it not been a discomfort to the believing Jews to have their Children unbaptized, and out of the Covenant?

The want of Baptism to Infants was never any grievance to Believers in the New Testament, nor were they thereby put out of the Covenant of Grace.

A Short Catechism about Baptism by John Tombes, B.D.

Heb 6.2. Of the Doctrine of Baptisms. Luke 7.35. But Wisdom is justified of all her Children. London: 1659

We can never be saved partly by grace and partly by works

December 27, 2012 2 comments

Spurgeon 3Now I suppose that in this congregation we have but very few-there may be some-who would indulge a hope of being saved by the law in itself; but there is a delusion abroad that perhaps God will modify the law, or that at least he will accept a sincere obedience even if it be imperfect; that he will say, “Well, this man has done what he could, and, therefore, I will take what he has given as though it were perfect.” Now, remember against this the Apostle Paul declares peremptorily, “By the works of the law shall no flesh living be justified,” so that that is answered at once. But more than this, God’s law cannot alter, it can never be content to take less from thee than it demands. What said Christ? “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail,” and again he expressly said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The law’s demands were met and fulfilled for believers by Christ; but as far as those demands are concerned to those who are under it, they are as great, as heavy, and as rigorous as ever they were. Unless his law could be altered, and that is impossible, God cannot accept anything but a perfect obedience; and if you are hoping to be saved by your sincere endeavors to do your best, your hopes are rotten things, delusions, falsehoods, and you will perish wrapped up in the shrouds of your pride. “Yes,” some say, “but could it not be partly by grace and partly by works?” No. The apostle says that boasting is excluded, and excluded by the law of faith; but if we let in the law of works in any degree, we cannot shut out boasting, for to that degree you give man an opportunity to congratulate himself as having saved himself. Let me say broadly-to hope to be saved by works is a delusion; to hope to be saved by a method in which grace and works are co-acting, is not merely a delusion, but an absurd delusion, since it is contrary to the very nature of things, that grace and merit should ever mingle and co-work. Our apostle has declared times without number, that if it be of grace it is not of works, otherwise grace is no more grace; and if it be of works, then it is not of grace, otherwise work is no more work. It must be either one or the other. These two cannot be married, for God forbids the banns. He will have it all grace or all works, all of Christ or all of man; but for Christ to be a make-weight, for Christ to supplement your narrow robes by patching on a piece of his own, for Christ to tread a part of the wine-press, and for you to tread the rest; oh! this can never be. God will never be yoked with the creature. You might link an angel with a worm and bid them fly together, but God with the creature-the precious blood of Jesus with the foul ditch-water of our human merits- never, never. Our paste gems, our varnished falsehoods, our righteousnesses which are but filthy rags, put with the real, true, precious, everlasting, divine things of Christ! Never! Unless heaven should blend in alliance with hell, and holiness hold dalliance with impurity! It must be one or the other, either man’s merit absolutely and alone, or unmixed, unmerited favor from the Lord.

Charles H. Spurgeon—Grace Exalted-Boasting Excluded—A Sermon Delivered on Sunday Morning, January 19th, 1862

Confession statement 6

December 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Published in 1646

The Text used: There has been some updating of Old English words but otherwise no changes have been made to the original texts.

CONFESSION OF FAITH of seven congregations or churches of Christ in London. which are commonly, but unjustly, called Anabaptists; published for the vindication of the truth and information of the ignorant; likewise for the taking off those aspersions which are frequently, both in pulpit and print, unjustly cast upon them. Printed in London, Anno 1646.

VI. ALL the elect being loved of God with an everlasting love, are redeemed, quickened, and saved, not by themselves, nor their own works, lest any any man should boast, but, only and wholly by God, of His own free grace and mercy, through Jesus Christ, who is made unto us by God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, and all in all, that he that rejoiceth, might rejoice in the Lord.

Jer.31:2; Eph.1:3,7, 2:8,9; 1 Thess.5:9; Acts 13:38; 2 Cor.5:21; Jer.9:23.24; 1 Cor.1:30.31; Jer.23:6.

The First London Baptist Confession 1644/46

Proof that the warnings are towards the church body

December 26, 2012 Leave a comment

To the Churches as bodies, so composed, are all the fearful passages in question addressed. To the members of the Church at Rome for example, Paul said―”If ye live after the flesh ye shall die.”

To those of the Churches of Galatia, “Be not deceived God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; for he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption.”

To the members of the old Jewish Church the prophet Ezekiel said―”When the righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he love? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned; in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sins that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.”

Does any one deny that these, and all similar threatenings, are, in fact, addressed to the members of the Churches. If they are not addressed to members of the Churches, they can have no influence upon the argument; they are directed to those who are not members, and whose claims to religion, since all truly religious men unite with the Churches, are at best, exceedingly questionable. They are in truth, however, addressed to the Churches, all of whose members are professedly righteous, and claim to be accepted of God through Christ. They are so regarded by their brethren, and by all others. For a season, they all act in accordance with their profession. No difference in zeal, and good works, can be perceived between the truly converted and unconverted. They all, whatever may be really the fact, bear the same character. They are known as Christians―men of God.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

The Spirit constrains our new nature and restrains the old nature

December 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Arthur Pink“I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me” (Jer. 32:40). This statement casts much light upon the means and method employed by God in the preserving of His people. The indwelling Spirit not only constrains the new nature by considerations drawn from the love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14), but He also restrains the old nature by a sense of God’s majesty. He often drops an awe on the believer’s heart, which holds him back from running into that excess of riot which his lusts would carry him unto. The Spirit makes the soul to realise that God is not to be trifled with, and delivers from wickedly presuming upon His mercy. He stimulates a spirit of filial reverence in the saint, so that he shuns those things which would dishonour his Father. He causes us to heed such a word as “Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee” (Rom. 11:20, 21). By such means does God fulfill His promise “I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes” (Ezek. 36:27).

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures April, 1937 The Spirit Preserving

Merry Christmas 2012

December 25, 2012 2 comments

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Merry Christmas:

from Reformed on the

Web.

Sinners cannot hide from God

December 24, 2012 Leave a comment

fuller

And will you go on to provoke Omnipotence? Canst thou escape his hand? Whither wilt thou flee? If, attentive to thy safety, the rocks could fall on thee, or the mountains cover thee, yet would they not be able to hide thee from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. God hath beset thee behind and before, and laid his hand upon thee. Whither wilt thou go from his spirit? Whither wilt thou flee from his presence? If thou ascend to heaven, he is there. Or if thou make thy bed in hell, behold, he is there!

Rev. Andrew Fuller–The Great Question Answered

John Tombes’ Catechism on Baptism Pt 5

December 21, 2012 Leave a comment

13. Were not Infants baptized, when whole households were baptized, Acts 16.15.33.?

No: For it appears not there were any infants in the houses, and the Texts shew they were not baptized, sith the word was spoken to all in the house, ver. 32. and all the house rejoyced believing God. ver 34. and elsewhere the whole house is said to do that which Infants could not do, Acts 18.8. Acts 10.2. 1 Cor. 16.15. compared with 1 Cor. 1.16. John 4.53.

14. Is not Christs speech and action to little Children, Matth. 19.14,15. Mark 10.14,15,16. Luke 18.16,17. a warrant to baptize infants?

No: but an Argument against it, sith Christ did neither baptize, nor appoint those little children to be baptized.

15. Why should not Infants be baptized, sith they were Circumcised?

The reason why Male Infants were to be Circumcised, was a particular Command of God to Abrahams house for special ends belonging to the time before Christ, which Baptism hath not, nor is there any Command to use Baptism according to the rule of Circumcision.

16. Did not Baptism come in the room of Circumcision, Col. 2.11,12. and so to be used as it was?

The Apostles words import not that our Baptism came in the room of the Jews Circumcision; there is no mention of any bodily Circumcision but Christ’s, which our baptism cannot be said to suceed to, as there it is made the cause of Spiritual Circumcision, without arrogating that to it which belongs to Christ alone, and Baptism is mentioned with faith, as the means whereby we are in Christ, and compleat in him.

A Short Catechism about Baptism by John Tombes, B.D.

Heb 6.2. Of the Doctrine of Baptisms. Luke 7.35. But Wisdom is justified of all her Children. London: 1659

The law demands perfection

December 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Spurgeon 1Now, the plan of salvation by works is impossible for us. Even if God had ordained it to be the way by which men should labor to be saved, yet it is certain that none would have been saved by it, and therefore all must have perished. For if thou wouldst be saved by works, remember O man, that the law requires of thee perfection. One single flaw, one offense, and the law condemns thee without mercy. It requires that thou shouldst keep it in every point, and in every sense, and to its uttermost degree, for its demands are rigorous in the extreme. It knows nothing of freely forgiving because thou canst not pay, but like a severe creditor, it takes thee by thy throat, and says, “Pay me all;” and if thou canst not pay even to the uttermost farthing, it shuts thee up in the prison of condemnation, out of which thou canst not come. But if it were possible for you to keep the law in its perfection outwardly, yet, remember, that you would be required to keep it in your heart as well as in your external life. One single motion of the heart from the right, one reception of even the shadow of a passing temptation, so as to become a partaker of sin, would ruin you. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.” Fail here, and oh! who among us can be such a hypocrite as to think he has not failed ten thousand times!-fail here, and though your life were virtuous, though your exterior were such as even criticism itself must commend, yet you perish because you have not kept the law and yielded its full demands. Remember, too, that it is clear you can never be saved by the law, because if up to this moment your heart and life have been altogether without offense, yet it is required that it should be so even to your dying day. And do you hope that as temptations come upon you thick as your moments, as your trials invade you numerous as the swarms which once thronged from the gates of Thebes, you will be able to stand against all these? Will there not be found some joint in your harness? Will there not be some moment in which you may be tripped up-some instant when either the eye may wander after lust, or the heart be set on vanity, or the hand stretched out to touch that which is not good? Oh! man, remember, we are not sure that even this life would end that probation, for as long as thou shouldst live and be God’s creature, duty would still be due, and the law still thine insatiable creditor. For ever would thy happiness tremble in the scales; even in heaven itself the law would follow thee; even there, as thy righteousness would be thine own, it would never be finished; and even from yonder shining battlements thou mightest fall, and amid those harps, wearing that white robe, if thou wert to be saved by thine own works, there might be a possibility of perishing. The obedience of a creature can never be finished; the duty of a servant of the law is never over. So long as thou wast the creature of God, thy Creator would have demands upon thee. How much better to be accepted in the Beloved, and to wear his finished righteousness as our glory and security. Now in the face of all this, will any of you prefer to be saved by your works? or, rather, will you prefer to be damned by your works? for that will certainly be the issue, let you hope what you may.

Charles H. Spurgeon—Grace Exalted-Boasting Excluded—A Sermon Delivered on Sunday Morning, January 19th, 1862