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Edited by John Hendryxin epub, .mobi & .pdf formatsSince faith is infinitely beyond all the power of our unregenerated human nature, it is only God who can give the spiritual ears to hear and eyes to see the beauty of Christ in the gospel. God alone disarms the hostility of the sinner turning his heart of stone to a heart of flesh (2 Cor 4:4-6). It is God, the Holy Spirit, alone who gives illumination and understanding of His word that we might believe; It is God who raises us from the death of sin, who circumcises the heart; unplugs our ears; It is God alone who can give us a new sense, a spiritual capacity to behold the beauty and unsurpassed excellency of Jesus Christ. The apostle John recorded Jesus saying to Nicodemus that we naturally love darkness, hate the light and WILL NOT come into the light (John 3:19, 20). And since our hardened resistance to God is thus seated in our affections, only God, by His grace, can lovingly change, overcome and pacify our rebellious disposition. The natural man, apart from the quickening work of the Holy Spirit, will not come to Christ on his own since he is at enmity with God and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor 2:14). Shining a light into a blind man's eyes will not enable him to see, because eyesight first requires a set of healthy eyes.
by John FlavelOriginalIn ePub, ,mobi & .pdf fomatsModernizedIn ePub, .mobi and .pdf formatsProverbs 4:23 says to keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Our hearts are like fortresses under attack, and we must guard them accordingly. Most people will diligently guard their fortunes and homes, which are of temporal value, but they are very careless about guarding that which is of eternal value their very souls! In this work, originally titled A Saint Indeed, John Flavel (1627 1691) looks at what it means to keep the heart, how to keep the heart, and why keeping the heart is the greatest business of every person.The heart of man is his worst part before it is regenerated—and the best afterward. It is the seat of principles, and the fountain of actions. The eye of God is fixed upon it—and the eye of the Christian ought to be principally fixed upon it.
by Louis BerkhofIn ePub, .mobi and .pdf formatsYou may also download the separate Introductory Volume to Systematic Theology here. Professor Berkhof, who was the President of Calvin Seminary and professor of Systematic Theology at the same in the first half of the twentieth century, has given us an excellent compendium of Reformed theological thought in this hefty volume. The subject is treated in the classical style, moving through the Doctrines of God, Man in Relation to God, the Person and Work of Christ, the Application of the Work of Redemption, the Church and the Means of Grace, and the Last Things. For decades, Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology has remained one of the most important and widely-used systematic theologies. It provides the clearest and most succinct articulation of Reformed theology. From its first publication in 1932, Berkhof's work was revised, reprinted, and translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese, and it had become a standard theological text by 1950. It has gained near-universal use in seminaries and Bible colleges across the world, and is widely cited and used by pastors, theologians, and students of nearly all denominational affiliations.
by Thomas Mantonin ePub, .mobi & .pdf formatsSUCH is the divine matter and admirable order of the Lord's Prayer, as became the eternal wisdom of God, that composed and dictated it to his disciples. In it are opened the fountains of all our regular petitions, and the arguments contained to encourage our hopes for obtaining them. In our addresses to men, our study is to conciliate their favourable audience; but God is most graciously inclined and ready to grant our requests, therefore we are directed to call upon him by the title of ‘Our Father in heaven,' to assure us of his love and power, and thereby to excite our reverent attention, to raise our affections, to confirm our confidence in prayer. The supreme end of our desires is the glory of God, in conjunction with our own happiness: this is expressed in the two first petitions, that ‘his name may be hallowed,' and ‘his kingdom come,' that we may partake of its felicity. In order to this, our desires are directed for the means that are proper and effectual to accomplish it. And those are of two kinds — the good things that conduct us, and the removal of those evils that obstruct our happiness.
by Louis Berkhofin ePub, .mobi & .pdf formatsThis volume is a prolegomena for Berkhof's SystematicTheology. In it he defines the concept of dogmatic theology, theology, apologetics, ethics, and science. He also explains the Reformed doctrine of revelation and inspiration. It exxplains what is a theology and how should it be defined? Is theology necessary? What is the task of theology and what are the methods which it should use? What is religion? Is it possible for God to reveal himself to human beings, and how? How can we know if the Bible is the Word of God? For those who are considering going to Seminary, to be pastors or simply Christians with ample knowledge of their faith, this is a good book to begin with. This is a very helpful volume in understanding the foundational matters of theology, ranging from the nature of Dogmatics, to the grounds of our knowledge of God, to the doctrines concerning scripture. Berkhof spends a fair amount of time discussing the differing theologies of Rome, Schleiermacher, Barth, etc. but he does it to show how they contrast with the true and full Christian Theology, namely the Reformed tradition.-----TABLE OF CONTENTSPrefaceThe Idea and History of Dogmatic TheologyI. Names Applied to the Systematic Presentation of Theology
by J. C. Rylein ePub mobi & .pdf formatsKEY QUOTES“The love of the bible will show itself in a believer's readiness to bear evil as well as to do good. It will make him patient under provocation, forgiving when injured, meek when unjustly attacked, quiet when slandered. It will make him hear much, put up with much and look over much, submit often and deny himself often, all for the sake of peace.”“The early Christians made it a part of their religion to look for his return. They looked backward to the cross and the atonement for sin, and rejoiced in Christ crucified. They looked upward to Christ at the right hand of God, and rejoiced in Christ interceding. They looked forward to the promised return of their Master, and rejoiced in the thought that they would see him again. And we ought to do the same”“The incorruptible things are all within the narrow gate. The peace of God which passed all understanding - the bright hope of good things to come - the sense of the Spirit dwelling in us - the consciousness that we are forgiven, safe, insured, provided for in time and eternity, whatever may happen - these are true gold, and lasting riches.”
J. C. Ryle"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:27-29)About the first part of this text, beloved, I spoke to you this morning. I told you then that this passage contains two things—first the character of true Christians, and secondly their privileges—first what they are to their Savior, and secondly what their Savior is to them.Let me, then, remind you what the text says of their character. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27)1. God's children, His real believing people, are compared to sheep, because they are gentle, quiet, harmless and inoffensive; because they are useful and do good to all around them; because they love to be together, and dislike separation; and lastly because they are very helpless and wandering and liable to stray.2. Jesus calls them "My sheep," as if they were His peculiar property. "Mine," He would have us know, by election, "Mine" by purchase, and "Mine" by adoption.3. Christ's sheep hear His voice, they listen humbly to His teaching, they take His word for their rule and guide.4. Christ's sheep follow Him, they walk in the narrow path He has marked out, they do not refuse because it is sometimes steep and narrow--but wherever the line of duty lies they go forward without doubting.
by Archibald AlexanderIn ePub, .mobi and .pdf formatsOn the basis of fifty years as a pastor, preacher and professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) deals with the subjective work of the Holy Spirit in the heart in all its phases, from the new birth until final preparation for heaven.There are two kinds of religious knowledge which, though intimately connected as cause and effect, may nevertheless be distinguished. These are the knowledge of the truth as it is revealed in the Holy Scriptures; and the impression which that truth makes on the human mind when rightly apprehended. The first may be compared to the inscription or image on a seal, the other to the impression made by the seal on the wax. When that impression is clearly and distinctly made, we can understand, by contemplating it, the true inscription on the seal more satisfactorily, than by a direct view of the seal itself. Thus it is found that nothing tends more to confirm and elucidate the truths contained in the Word, than an inward experience of their efficacy on the heart. It cannot, therefore, be uninteresting to the Christian to have these effects, as they consist in the various views and affections of the mind, traced out and exhibited in their connection with the truth, and in their relation to each other.
BY JOHN OWENIN .EPUB, .MOBI & .PDF FORMATSFormatted, lightly modernized and spelling corrections by Denise KristianssonTo design of the ensuing Discourse is to declare some part of that glory of our Lord Jesus Christ which is revealed in the Scripture, and proposed as the principal object of our faith, love, delight, and admiration. But, alas! after our utmost and most diligent inquiries, we must say, How little a portion is it of him that we can understand! His glory is incomprehensible, and his praises are unutterable. Some things an illuminated mind may conceive of it; but what we can express in comparison of what it is in itself, is even less than nothing. But as for those who have forsaken the only true guide herein, endeavouring to be wise above what is written, and to raise their contemplations by fancy and imagination above Scripture revelation (as many have done), they have darkened counsel without knowledge, uttering things which they understand not, which have no substance or spiritual food of faith in them.
"Although They Knew God ... They Suppressed the Truth..."The opportunities are wide open for Christians to speak with secular people these days, especially if you live in a metropolitan area. The average hipster you may meet in the medium to big sized city is a secularist who may listen to NPR, has a liberal, ecological, and/or anti-capitalist political ideology ... wears vintage clothing from a thrift store and consumes ethically. He or she often either rides a bike, uses public transportation or even may be driving a hybrid or bio-diesel vehicle. This person is deeply concerned with the ethical treatment of animals, is strongly against slavery, torture, racism and political oppression against women. In other words, he takes morality very seriously. Another characteristic of this individual is that he/she thinks Christianity is irrelevant at best.Since we deeply care about the eternal destinies of such individuals how should we go about reaching such a person with the gospel? Where would you start?Once of the more effective ways, I have found, is to remember that that your secular friend already knows God exists. He/she knows God exists and lives as if He does. In Romans chapter 1 Paul clearly teaches this about all people when he says, "For although they knew God" (verse 21) "...by their unrighteousness suppress the truth" (verse 18).But how can we demonstrate to your friends that they already believe in God, when intellectually they deny His existence?While there are many ways this could be done, I would like to suggest one way that I have found to be quite persuasive: The knowledge of God through their own morality.
by J. I. Packer“THE PLAN”MEN and women today feel lost and astray in this world. A glance at our modern art, poetry or novels, or five minutes' conversation with a sensitive unbeliever, will assure us of that. In an age that has won a higher degree of control over the forces of nature than any before, this may seem odd; but it is not really odd. It is God's judgment, which we have brought down on ourselves by trying to feel too much at home in this world.For that is what we have done. We have set our faces against the idea that one should live on the basis that there is something more than this world to live for. Even if we privately thought that the materialists were wrong in denying God and another world exist, we have not allowed our belief to stop us living on materialistic principles: treating this world as if it were the only home we should ever have, and concentrating exclusively on arranging it to our comfort. We thought we could build heaven on earth, and tried. And now God has judged us for our impiety. In less than half a century, we have had two “hot” world wars and one “cold” one, and now we find ourselves in the age of such horrors as nuclear warfare and brainwashing. In such a world, it is not possible to feel at home. It is a world which has disappointed us. We expected life to be friendly (why? — but we did); instead, however, it has mocked our hopes and left us disillusioned and baffled. We thought we knew what to make of life, but now we do not know whether anything can be made of it. We thought of ourselves as wise men, but now we find ourselves like benighted children, lost in the dark.
By Justin TaylorThe short classic The Life of God in the Soul of Man originated as a private letter of spiritual counsel to a friend, but Scougal allowed it to be published in 1677, a year before his death. Sixty-eight years later, in the spring of 1735, Charles Wesley (1707-1788), whose mother Susanna had commended it to her sons, gave a copy of this little book to his friend George Whitefield (1714-1770). Upon reading it, Whitefield was convinced: “I must be born again, or be damned.” Whitefield testified that he “never knew what true religion was” until he read this book.Who Was Henry Scougal?Henry Scougal (1650-1678) was a Scottish minister, theologian, and author. Upon his graduation in 1665 from King's College, University of Aberdeen, the 19-year-old was appointed professor of philosophy at the school. In 1673, after a one-year pastoral stint, he became professor of divinity at King's, where he served until he died of tuberculosis five years later, just shy of his 28th birthday.What Scougal Means by “True Religion”By “true religion” Scougal means something like authentic spirituality or genuine Christianity. He is at pains to defend the term from common misconceptions among Christians. “I cannot speak of religion,” he writes, “but I must lament that, among so many pretenders to it, so few understand what it means.”3 Places Where Religion Does Not ResideScougal identifies three places where religion is incorrectly located.(1) Theological correctness. Some place religion “in the understanding, in orthodox notions and opinions; and all the account they can give of their religion is, that they are of this or the other persuasion, and have joined themselves to one of those many sects whereinto Christendom is most unhappily divided.”
by Martyn Lloyd-JonesThe Cross does not merely tell us that God forgives, it tells us that that is God's way of making forgiveness possible. It is the way in which we understand how God forgives. I will go further: how can God forgive and still remain God? — that is the question. The Cross is the vindication of God. The Cross is the vindication of the character of God. The Cross not only shows the love of God more gloriously than anything else, it shows his righteousness, his justice, his holiness, and all the glory of his eternal attributes. They are all to be seen shining together there. If you do not see them all you have not seen the Cross. That is why we must totally reject the so-called ‘moral influence theory' of the Atonement — the theory which says that all the Cross has to do is to break our hearts and to bring us to see the love of God.
by John Newton“I know that the Lord is great — that our Lord is greater than all gods. The Lord does whatever pleases Him — in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths!” Psalm 135:5-6God rules all! And though He is concealed by a veil of second causes from common eyes, so that they can perceive only the means, instruments, and contingencies by which He works, and therefore think He does nothing; yet, in reality, He does all according to His own counsel and pleasure, in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.Who can enumerate all the beings and events which are… incessantly before His eye, adjusted by His wisdom, dependent on His will, and regulated by His power!If we consider the heavens, the work of His fingers, the moon and the stars which He has ordained; if we call in the assistance of astronomers to help us in forming a conception of the number, distances, magnitudes, and motions of the heavenly bodies — the more we search, the more we shall be confirmed that these are but a small portion of His ways! Without His continual energy upholding them — they would rush into confusion, or sink into nothing! They are all dependent upon His power, and obedient to His command.
by Thomas Watson“It shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them” (Deuteronomy 17:19)
by Thomas Watson“It shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them” (Deuteronomy 17:19)
BY THOMAS WATSONIN EPUB, .MOBI & .PDF FORMATSMany modern Christians view the Christian life as one of ease and worldly blessings. Building on Jesus's words that "the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matt. 11:12), the Puritans saw it, rather, as warfare, as wrestling, as "holy violence" against one's own self, against Satan, the world, and even heaven. We are called to take up the full armor of God in our daily battles. As Watson puts it, "Our life is military. Christ is our Captain, the gospel is the banner, the graces are our spiritual artillery, and heaven is only taken in a forcible way." In his typically heart-searching style, replete with practical illustrations and gripping remarks, Watson describes how the Christian is to take the kingdom of heaven by holy violence through the reading and exposition of Scripture, prayer, meditation, self-examination, conversation, and the sanctification of the Lord's Day. Soldiers of Christ will find this a practical handbook on Christian living.-----Table of Contents Introduction: Taking Heaven by ViolenceOffering Violence to OurselvesThe Christian Must offer Violence to SatanThe Christian Must Offer Violence to HeavenArrows of Reproof and Apostasy
by Thomas MantonThat which a man would make his portion, it must be sufficient to supply all his wants, that he may have enough to live upon. Now, saith the Lord, 'I am God all-sufficient,' Gen. 17:1; sufficient for the necessities of this life, and that which is to come. He is the fountain of all blessings, spiritual, temporal, eternal; not only their power for ever, but their portion for ever, satisfied with him now and in the life to come: Ps. 142:5, 'Thou art my portion, O Lord, in the land of the living.' They expect all from him; not only peace and righteousness, grace and glory, but food, maintenance, defence, to bear them out in his work. The creature is but God's instrument, or as an empty pipe, unless God flow in by it. If God help them not, the creature cannot help them. These are streams that have water only so long as the spring fills them. Well, then, here is a portion that is every way sufficient. All other portions are accompanied with a want, but this alone sufficeth all. Some things give health, wealth, but not peace; some things give peace, but not honour. But God is all to us—health, wealth, peace, honour, grace, and glory: 'All things are yours, because you are Christ's, and Christ is God's,' so runs the Christian charter; there is omne bonum in summo bono—all things in the chiefest good. So Rev. 21:7, 'He that overcometh shall inherit all things.' How so? 'For I will be his God.' He that hath God hath him that hath power and command of all things, and therefore shall inherit all things, 'For I will be his God.' And that is the reason of the apostle's riddle, 2 Cor. 6:10, 'As having nothing, yet possessing all things;' that is, all things in God, when they have nothing in the creature.
by W. G. T. Shedd"God's works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful, preserving and governing all his creatures and all their actions" (Westminster Larger Catechism 18). Preservation and government are the two functions in the eternal providence of God. They presuppose creation. Preservation is described in Heb. 1:3 as an "upholding." The Son of God "upholds all things by the word of his power." Nothing that is created ex nihilo is self-sustaining. Consequently, it must be sustained in being. It would not require a positive act of omnipotence, antithetic to that exerted in creation from nothing, in order to annihilate created existences. Simple cessation to uphold would result in annihilation. For to suppose that matter, for example, could persist in being after the withdrawal of God's preserving power, with such an intensity as to necessitate a direct act of omnipotence to annihilate it, would imply that matter has self-existence and self-continuance. But this is an attribute that is incommunicable to the creature. This is true of finite mind, as well as of matter. Created spiritual substance is not immortal because it has self-subsistence imparted to it by the Creator, but because he intends to uphold and sustain it in being forever:When we speak of the soul as created naturally immortal, we mean that it is by divine pleasure created such a substance as not having in itself any composition or other particles of corruption will naturally or of itself continue forever, that is, will not by any natural decay or by any power of nature be dissolved or destroyed; but yet nevertheless depends continually upon God, who has power to destroy or annihilate it if he should think fit (Clarke, Letter to Dodwell). (See supplement 3.8.1.)
In our cultural moment, emotions and sincerity have displaced logic and truth. The consequence of abandoning objective morality is that when faced with real problems in the world we will never arrive at actual solutions. The predicaments we now face have become so enormous that it is like standing on the beach before a 90 foot tidal wave. There is nothing you can do to stop it. But, thanks be to God, you can stay in the "ark" (Christ) and let Him buoy you up in the midst of the flood. And then, armed with the gospel, we can all help pull to safety the many whose lives have been wrecked by the falsehoods.
by Willliam Bates"My son despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him." - HEBREWS 12:5Secondly. I SHALL proceed to prove, it is the best wisdom not to despise God's chastenings, nor faint under them. I will not insist upon the consideration that it is the counsel of the supreme wisdom to us, nor that it is the avoiding the vicious extremes, which is the chiefest point of moral prudence: but it is the only way to prevent the greatest mischiefs that will otherwise befal us. It is said, he that is wise is profitable to himself, that is either in obtaining good, or preventing evils. Now it will appear how pernicious those extremes are, by considering; Job. 22:21.
by B. B. WarfieldSame Christology in Synoptics and John
by Aaron ShafovaloffSince Biden was inaugurated as President we should:1) Pray for2) Submit to3) Call to repentance
If a professing Christian believed they may be unable to pay for their rent this month would it be appropriate for them to ask God to give them a sign as to whether or not they should rob a bank?If a man saw a beautiful woman who has not his wife, would it be appropriate for him to pray to God to ask him whether or not he should commit adultery with her? Likewise, a Christian has no business asking God whether he should incite in a riot, vandalize public property, or participate in an insurrection. That such actions are not an option for the Christian should be painfully obvious. We are never to base on actions on our feelings of injustice, or upon some supposed extra biblical communication from God, but upon Scripture. Christianity is based on revealed truth, and it should not be up for question as to whether we should engage in said sinful activities. God does not tell his followers to do things that He has already expressly told them not to. Do you mean to be pagans under a Christian name, or Christians indeed? You have but the name only if you trust in your feelings or in supposed personal revelations, if they contradict the word of God. Christ’s disciples sit loose from the world, because, however providence may fall out, the Kingdom of God is never a risk. All things are to be done orderly and legally in respect and honor to the civil magistrate, even if you think what he/she does may be unjust. We are to seek the common good, be patient and listen to viewpoints we sharply disagree with and then deliberate or discuss differences reasonably. Only if the governement orders you to stop preaching the gospel, or do something that expressly violates God’s law, are we to peacefully resist.
BY WILHELMUS A BRAKELTrue believers are principally upright, for:(1) Have spiritual light and life, are partakers of the divine nature, and Jesus has been formed within them.(2) They perceive their wrongdoings, are grieved over them, confess them, by faith seek forgiveness in the blood of Christ, and do battle against them.(3) They are concerned about this, since they mistrust their hearts and become conscious of their corrupt impulses.They bring their heart before the Lord and pray, ―Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Ps 139:23-24).(4) This is true in a general and universal sense of the word as far as matters, time, and place are concerned; they make no exception whatsoever. Regardless of whether they fall more into the one sin than the other, it is nevertheless contrary to their intent and the wishes of their heart; it grieves them. Yes, in secret they are much more upright than they are in the presence of men, and their heart is even more upright in principle than it is in its manifestation. They can and dare say to the Lord: ―With my whole heart have I sought Thee: O let me not wander from Thy commandments. Therefore I esteem all Thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. (Ps119:10, 128).All these matters are true evidences of uprightness. With this, believers may support and comfort themselves when they, due to detecting so much deficiency within themselves, are concerned as to whether or not they are upright. Nevertheless, they must humble themselves over their eficiencies and transgressions. -----

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