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Posts Tagged ‘Sound Doctrine’

Can a Sound Biblical Theology be Maintained without Calvinism?

Posted on October 6th, 2015, by Tom Nettles

My engagement with the “old view,” as my professor of theology called it, had a profound effect on my subsequent studies. How something apparently so commonly held and so clearly and vigorously affirmed could have sunk below the horizon in seventy years of denominational life puzzled, frustrated, and fascinated me. The answer, of course, did not come all at once, but gradually rose to the surface of my studies little by little, layer by layer, and nuance by nuance. Putting the whole story together, as far as I discern it at this point, involves a combination of many factors in the broader Christian world and from within Southern Baptist culture.

One of the slowly percolating and permeating influences came from the doctrinal and methodological narrative of one century from Charles Finney through Billy Sunday, a narrative that called for Southern Baptist interaction in the late nineteenth-century discussions of “Protracted Meetings” and full-time evangelists. This eventually sorted itself into Southern Baptist identity through the influence of L. R. Scarborough. The method had amalgamated…..

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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Though he slay me yet will I trust in Him

SpurgeonAgain: the most likely way for you ever to receive God’s grace is to believe God’s truths. Never kick against God’s doctrines, but receive them. And I have one thing to say to thee this morning, if in thy heart, poor sinner, thou canst say, “I believe God’s gospel to be a glorious gospel,” thou art not far from something else. If thou canst say. “I submit to all its demands, I believe God just if he destroys me, and if he saves me, it will be of his sovereign mercy only,” then, sinner, there are good hopes of thee, thou hast proceeded some way on the road to heaven. If thou canst but do one thing more, and say, “Though he slay me yet will I trust in him,” and if thou canst come to the cross of Christ, and say, “Jesus, I love thy gospel and I love thy truth; if I perish, I will perish believing all thy truth, I will perish clasping thy cross, if I die, I will die owning that thou art a just and gracious God, and still in my poor way, holding fast the form of sound words,” I tell thee, poor soul, God will never damn thee. If thou dost believe in Jesus Christ, and holdest fast his words, he will look upon thee in love, he will say, “Poor soul! though he does not know that these truths are his, yet he thinks them precious; though he dares not hope that they belong to him, yet he will fight for them; though he does not know that he is really a soldier of the cross, chosen of me ere time began, yet see how valiantly he strives for me,” and the Lord will say, “Poor soul, thou lovest the things that thou thinkest are not thine own—-I will make thee rejoice in them as thine own, by my grace; thou lovest election, though thou thinkest thou art not elect—-that is an evidence that thou art mine.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be baptized, and thou shalt be saved.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Love Christ and love Christ’s truth because it is Christ’s truth

Spurgeon 1And then the second holdfast is love. Love Christ and love Christ’s truth because it is Christ’s truth, for Christ’s sake and if you love the truth you will not let it go. It is very hard to turn a man away from the truth he loves, “Oh!” says one, “I cannot argue with you about it, but I cannot give it up: I love it, and cannot live without it; it is a part of myself, woven into my very nature; and though my opponent says that bread is not bread, and I cannot prove that it is, yet I know I go and eat it; it is wonderfully like it to me, and it takes away my hunger. He says that stream is not a pure stream. I cannot prove that it is, but I go and drink of it, and find it the river of the water of life to my soul.” And he tells me that my gospel is not a true one: well, it comforts me, it sustains me in my trials, it helps me to conquer sin and to keep down my evil passions, and brings me near to God, and if my gospel be not a true one, I wonder what sort of thing a true one is: mine is wonderfully like it, and I cannot suppose that a true gospel would produce better effects. That is the best thing to do, to believe the Word, to have so full a belief in it, that the enemy cannot pull you away. He may try to do it, but you will say,—- —

“Amidst temptations sharp and long,
My soul to the same refuge flies;
Faith is my anchor, firm and strong,
When tempests blow or billows rise.”

Hold on then, Christian, to “faith and love which are by Christ Jesus” — two blessed holdfasts, wherewith we grasp the truth.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

If you would hold fast the truth, pray yourselves right into it

Spurgeon 6But then, Christian men, above all things, if you would hold fast the truth, pray yourselves right into it. The way to get a doctrine is to pray till you get it. An old divine says, “I have lost many things I learned in the house of God, but I never lost anything I ever learned in the closet.” That which a man learns on his knees, with his Bible open, he will never forget. Well, have you ever bowed your knees, and said “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law?” If you have seen that wondrous thing you will never forget it. He that prays himself into a truth, will never be got out of it by the very devil himself, though he were to put on the garb of an angel of light. Pray yourselves into the truth.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

The witness to the Jews has been awfully impeded by the error of idolatry within Christianity

April 27, 2015 2 comments

CharlesSpurgeon3. Again, I say, “hold fast the form of sound words,” for the word’s sake. Pardon me when I say that, speaking after the manner of men, I believe that the progress of the gospel has been awfully impeded by the errors of its preachers. I never wonder when I see a Jew an unbeliever in Christianity, for this reason, that the Jew very seldom sees Christianity in its beauty. For hundreds of years what- has the Jew thought Christianity to be? Why, pure idolatry. He has seen the Catholic bow down to blocks of wood and stone; he has seen him prostrating himself before the Virgin

Mary and all saints; and the Jew has said, “Ah! this is my watchword — hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is our Lord; I could not be a Christian, for to worship one God is the essential part of my religion.” So the heathen, I believe have seen a false system of Christianity, and they have said, “What! is that your Christianity?” and they did not receive it. But I believe that when the gospel is purged from all the rudiments of men, and all the chaff and dust have been winnowed from it, and it is presented in all its naked simplicity, it will be sure to win the day; and I say again, speaking as a man, the gospel might have made a ten thousand fold greater progress, if it had been preached in all Its simplicity, instead of that diluted or rather distorted form in which it is commonly proclaimed. If ye would see sinners saved, if ye would see God’s elect gathered in, “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Hold fast to the form of sounds words for the good of the Church itself

Spurgeon 62. And now, for the good of the Church itself, I want you all to “hold fast the form of sound words.” Would you wish to see the Church prosperous? Would you wish to see it peaceful? Then “hold fast the form of sound words.” What is the cause of divisions, schisms, quarrels, and bickerings amongst us? It is not the fault of the truth; it is the fault of the errors. There would have been peace in the Church, entire and perpetual peace, if there had been purity — entire and perpetual purity — in the Church. Going down to Sheerness on Friday, I was told by some one on board that during the late gale several of the ships there had their anchors rent up, and had gone dashing against the other ships, and had done considerable damage. Now, if their anchors had held fast and firm, no damage would have been done. Ask me the cause of the damage which has been done to our churches by the different denominations, and I tell you, it is because all their anchors did not hold fast. If they had held fast by the truth, there would have been no disputing; disputing comes from errors. If there be any ill feeling, you must not trace it to the truth — you must trace it to the error. If the Church had always kept firm to the faith, and had always been united to the great doctrines of the truth, there would have been no disputes. Keep firm to your belief, and you will prevent discord in the Church.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Every deviation from truth is a sin

March 23, 2015 2 comments

Spurgeon 6But, my beloved, I would beseech you to hold it fast for your own sakes, from a remembrance of the great evils which will follow the contrary course. If you do not “hold fast the form of sound words,” listen to me while I tell you what you will do.

In the first place, every deviation from truth is a sin. It is not simply a sin for me to do a wrong act, but it is a sin for me to believe a wrong doctrine. Lately our ministers have absolved us all from obeying God in our judgments; they have told us point blank, many of them, in their drawing rooms, and some of them in the pulpit, that we shall never be asked in the day of judgment what we believed. We have been told that for our acts we shall be responsible, but for our faith we shall be irresponsible, or something very much like it; they have told us plainly, that the God who made us, although he has authority over our hands, our foes, our eyes and our lips, hath but little authority over our judgments; they have told us, that if we make ever such blunders in divinity, they are no sins, so long as we can live right lives. But is that true? No; the whole man is bound to serve God; and if God gives me a judgment, I am bound to employ that judgment in his service; and if that judgment receive an untruth, it has received stolen goods, and I have sinned as much as if I put forth my hand to take my neighbour’s goods. There may be degrees in the sin. If it be a sin of ignorance, it is nevertheless a sin, but it is not so heinous as a sin of negligence, which I fear it is with many. I tell you, beloved, if, for instance, baptism be not by immersion, I commit a sin every time I practice it; and if it be, my brother commits a sin who does not practice it. If Election be true, I am committing a sin if I do not believe it; and if Final Perseverance be true, I am committing a sin before Almighty God, if I do not receive it; and if it be not true, then I sin in embracing what is not scriptural. Error in doctrine is as much a sin as error in practice. In everything we are bound to serve our God with all our might, exercising those powers of judging and believing which be has given unto us, and I warn you, Christians, not to think it is a little thing to hold faith with a feeble hand: it is a sin every time you do aught which makes you waver in the faith of Jesus Christ. Remember, too, that error in doctrine is not only a sin, but a sin which has a great tendency to increase. When a man once in his life believes a wrong thing, it is marvellous how quickly he believes another wrong thing. Once open the door to a false doctrine — Satan says it is but a little one — ay, but he only puts the little one in like the small end of the wedge, and he means to drive in a larger one; and he will say it is only a little more, and a little more, and a little more. The most damnable heretics who ever perverted the faith of God erred by littles and littles, those who have gone the widest from truth have only gone so by degrees. Whence came the Church of Rome, that mass of abominations? Why, from gradual departures. It did not become abominable at first; it was not the “mother of harlots” all at once; but it first did deck itself in some ornaments, then in others, and by and bye it went on to commit its fornications with the kings of the earth, it fell by little and little, and in the same way it separated itself from the truth. For centuries it was a Church of Christ, and it is difficult to say, in looking at history, when was the exact point in which it ceased to be numbered with Christian Churches. Take care, Christians, if you commit one error, you cannot tell how many more you will commit.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856