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Free Ebook Friday: Bondage of the Will

by Martin Luther

in ePub, .mobi & .pdf formats

From J. I. Packer’s introduction to Luther’s Bondage of the Will:

Free will was no academic question to Luther; the whole Gospel of the grace of God, he held, was bound up with it, and stood or fell according to the way one decided it. . . . It is not the part of a true theologian, Luther holds, to be unconcerned, or to pretend to be unconcerned, when the Gospel is in danger. . . . [T]he doctrine of The Bondage of the Will in particular was the cornerstone of the Gospel and the foundation of faith (40-41, emphasis added).In particular, the denial of free will was to Luther the foundation of the Biblical doctrine of grace, and a hearty endorsement of that denial was the first step for anyone who would understand the Gospel and come to faith in God. The man who has not yet practically and experimentally learned the bondage of his will in sin has not yet comprehended any part of the Gospel (44-45). Justification by faith alone is a truth that needs interpretation. The principle of sola fide [by faith alone] is not rightly understood till it is seen as anchored in the broader principle of sola gratia [by grace alone] . . . for to rely on oneself for faith is not different in principle from relying on oneself for works (59). The Bible teaches that faith itself is and has to be a gift of God, by grace, and not of self (Ephesians 2:8). It is safe to deduce that for Luther, any evangelist who advocates free will has not only “not yet comprehended any part of the Gospel,” but also that he has not yet preached the Gospel at all; his is a counterfeit gospel…..

Download your free copy using the links above.

Source (Monergism.com)

Free Ebook Friday- Luther: Lectures on Romans

“ONE OF THE MOST THOROUGH OF LUTHER’S MODERN interpreters, Karl Holl, a scholar who was not readily given to exaggeration, regarded Luther’s exposition of the letter to the Romans as a work of genius, “an achievement that remains unsurpassed even today.”[1] This judgment appears to be supported by the fact that in recent Luther research the lectures on Romans are treated as one of the most important works of the Reformer.

Yet these lectures were published for the first time only in 1908.[2] Until then, they had been unknown to the readers of Luther’s works and the students of his thought. But as soon as they became generally available, they were treated as the chief source of the knowledge of Luther’s theological development. And, indeed, they show that the basic ideas of the Protestant Reformation were formed in Luther’s mind before he began his career as a reformer. They also furnish clear and impressive proof that the man who, two years later, on October 31, 1517, was to publish the “Ninetyfive Theses on the Power of Indulgences” and who thus chanced to begin the Reformation, was spiritually and theologically mature and resourceful (he was then thirty-four years old). One can understand why the author of these lectures could not be forced, by the mere assertion of authority, to recant his views and why it was impossible to silence him by the conventional means of dealing with a heretic. Whoever would oppose him in order to refute him would have to meet him on the ground of that understanding of the gospel which he had slowly achieved by conscientious study and spiritual struggle.

This evidence of the direction of Luther’s thought and of the power of his mind is all the more impressive because he wrote the documents that contain it for his own personal use and not for publication. He that reads them now encounters Luther as he got ready to teach an academic course on Paul’s letter to the Romans. To be sure, he himself seems to have attributed considerable significance to this work of his, for his own manuscript (which has come down to us) is written with great care. The major part of it appears to be the final clean copy which Luther himself prepared from notes that he had put on loose slips of paper (called by him schedae or schedulae). It was this carefully prepared manuscript which he used in the classroom.

According to the custom of the times, he dictated to his students the substance of what he wanted them to know. Some of the notes that the students took down in Luther’s course on the letter to the Romans are still in existence. Prof. Johannes Ficker, who discovered and first published Luther’s lectures and finally edited them with admirable care in the Weimar Edition of Luther’s Works, succeeded in locating several sets of them. Not all of them are complete, and not all of them represent the notes that were directly taken down in the classroom (a few are copies of such notes), but altogether they give a vivid picture of Luther’s teaching. They show how carefully he dictated (he repeated difficult words or pronounced them syllable by syllable) and how he spoke (his pronunciation was that of a Saxon and as such he tended to pronounce b as if it were p, and g as if it were k, etc., just as the Saxons do today).

A comparison of the students’ books with his own lecture notes shows how he used his manuscript: he dictated its philological parts almost verbatim, but he greatly abbreviated the theological exposition he had written out; he left unmentioned most of those sections which, from our modern point of view, are the most interesting and important ones, namely, those where he sharply criticizes the church and its theological teachers and administrative leaders, and especially those where he struggles for the understanding of the gospel and for the clarity of his own thought about it.”

Download Luther’s: Lectures in Romans here. (Pdf)

Footnotes:

[1] Karl Holl, Luthers Bedeutung filr den Fortschrift der Auslegungskunst (Gesammelte Aufsatze, Vol. I: Luther [sd ed., Tubingen, 1923], p. 550).

[2] Johannes Ficker, Luthers Vorlesung iiber den Romerbrief 1515/1516 (Leipzig, ed. 1908).

Free Ebook Friday- Introduction to the Puritans by Erroll Hulse

Introduction to the Puritans is a wonderful overview of the Puritan movement in the 1600s that has given the English-speaking world its richest depository of theological writings, with practical applications in every area of life. Part One helps us to understand the fascinating history as the British monarchy took some unpredictable turns and various factions literally fought for control of Britain’s religious life. Part Two ably illucidates the lives of the Puritans with brief summaries of 20+ Puritan leaders. These were real men whose contributions came at great personal cost to themselves and their families. Part Three shows us the importance of the Puritan legacy as it applies to important doctrinal and practical issues of our day. All Christians will benefit from knowing the Puritans. This book affords an excellent place to start.

Author: Erroll Hulse (1931-2017)

Pages: 138

Format: Paperbacks

Code: ittp

Language: English

Download as Pdf, Epub, Kindle.mobi

Source (Chapel Library)

Free Ebook Friday- 19 Pastoral Thoughts on Covid-19

by Conrad Mbewe

INTRODUCTION

“This little book was born out of the travail of my soul as a pastor soon after the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) caused our country’s government to appeal to the citizens to stay at home and to churches to stop having worship services.

I had returned from a preaching trip to the USA and was in the midst of my own 14 days of self-quarantine, as demanded by the Zambian government.

I felt like the apostle John in exile on the island of Patmos away from the very people of God who needed counsel from him while they faced an intensity of persecution that they had not known before. I needed an outlet for the many messages of consolation and counsel that were building up in my soul. How could I minister to God’s children in this situation? I imagined a young wife and mother in my church facing this unique and global COVID-19 pandemic. I realised that most likely her only concern, like a mother hen, would be how to safeguard herself……”

This little booklet is filled with bold, edifying messages giving encouragement on how to have a God-centred perspective on COVID-19 while it lasts. Download Here and share all around.

Source (kabwatabaptistchurch)

Free Ebook Friday: The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

by John Cotton

To the Reader

“THE greatest commotions in Kingdoms have for the most part been raised and maintained for and about Power, and Liberties, of the Rulers and the Ruled, together with the due bounds and limits of either: And the like hath fallen out in Churches, and is con-tinued to this day in the sharpest contentions (though now the seat of the war is changed) who should be the first adequate, and complete subject of that Church-power, which Christ hath left on earth; how bounded, and to whom committed. This controversy is in a special manner the lot of these present times: And now that most parties (that can pretend any thing towards it) have in several ages had their turns and vicissitudes of so long a possession of it, and their pleas for their several pretences, have been so much and so long heard, it may well be hoped it is near determining; and that Christ will shortly settle this power upon the right heirs, to whom he primitively did be-queath it.

In those former darker times, this golden Ball was thrown up by the Clergy (so called) alone to run for among themselves: And as they quietly possessed the name,……….”

This is the book that John Owen credited with convincing him that Congregational church government is the biblical way.

Download the PDF here.

Free Ebook Friday: Christianity and Liberalism

by J. Gresham Machen

In ePub, .mobi and .pdf formats

The purpose of this book is not to decide the religious issue of the present day, but merely to present the issue as sharply and clearly as possible, in order that the reader may be aided in deciding it for himself. Presenting an issue sharply is indeed by no means a popular business at the present time; there are many who prefer to fight their intellectual battles in what Dr. Francis L. Patton has aptly called a “condition of low visibility.” Clear-cut definition of terms in religious matters, bold facing of the logical implications of religious views, is by many persons regarded as an impious proceeding. May it not discourage contribution to mission boards? May it not hinder the progress of consolidation, and produce a poor showing in columns of Church statistics? But with such persons we cannot possibly bring ourselves to agree. Light may seem at times to be an impertinent intruder, but it is always beneficial in the end. The type of religion which rejoices in the pious sound of traditional phrases, regardless of their meanings, or shrinks from “controversial” matters, will never stand amid the shocks of life. In the sphere of religion, as in other spheres, the things about which men are agreed are apt to be the things that are least worth holding; the really important things are the things about which men will fight.

In the sphere of religion, in particular, the present time is a time of conflict; the great redemptive religion which has always been known as Christianity is battling against a totally diverse type of religious belief, which is only the more destructive of the Christian faith because it makes use of traditional Christian terminology. This modern non-redemptive religion is called “modernism” or “liberalism.” Both names are unsatisfactory; the latter, in particular, is question-begging. The movement designated as “liberalism” is regarded as “liberal” only by its friends; to its opponents it seems to involve a narrow ignoring of many relevant facts. And indeed the movement is so various in its manifestations that one may almost despair of finding any common name which will apply to all its forms. But manifold as are the forms in which the movement appears, the root of the movement is one; the many varieties of modern liberal religion are rooted in naturalism–that is, in the denial of any entrance of the creative power of God (as distinguished from the ordinary course of nature) in connection with the origin of Christianity. The word “naturalism” is here used in a sense somewhat different from its philosophical meaning. In this non-philosophical sense it describes with fair accuracy the real root of what is called, by what may turn out to be a degradation of an originally noble word, “liberal” religion.

Source (Monergism)

Free Ebook Friday: The Sovereignty of God in Providence

“There are six basic principles surrounding the sovereignty of God in providence that run all the way through the Word of God and undergird its message of salvation. It is essential to understand and believe these principles in order to have a biblical understanding of God Himself and how to respond to His doings in your life. Grasping and applying these truths to your everyday life is the foundation of biblical hope that leads to true joy in the Lord…

1. God has a definite plan and purpose for the world.

2. God is always in control of all things and is constantly at work accomplishing His plan.

3. God controls and uses everyone, even the devil, in working out His plan.

4. God punishes the people that He uses to accomplish His purposes when they act out of wrong motives.

5. All things are from God, but the devil is the agent of all evil.

6. Although all sickness and affliction are part of God’s purposes and under His sovereign control, it does not follow that all sickness and affliction are necessarily chastisement for sin.”

Author: John Reisinger

Pages: 32

Format: Booklets

Code: sogi

Language: English

Download as: PDF, Epub, Mobi

Source: (Chapel Library)

Free Ebook Friday: Sickness by J. C. Ryle

None of us likes to be sick. But as J. C. Ryle points out, sickness, like the sin that caused it, is universal to all mankind. And while sickness is indeed a misery, Ryle shows that, at the same time, it confers general benefits on mankind. He writes, “It is a blessing quite as much as a curse. It is a rough schoolmaster, I grant. But it is a real friend to man’s soul.” He goes on to describe some of the ways that God uses sickness for good and the special duties that its prevalence requires, concluding with some words of practical application. We can do no better than to heed Ryle’s final exhortation, “In sickness and in health, in life and in death, let us lean confidently on Him.”

Pages: 28

Format: Booklets

Code: sick

Language: English

Download as: Pdf, Epub, Mobi

Source (Chapel Library)