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by C. H. SpurgeonIt is grace, free, sovereign grace, which has made you to differ!Should any here, supposing themselves to be the children of God, imagine that there is some reason "in them" why they should have been chosen, let them know, that as yet they are in the dark, concerning the first principles of grace, and have not yet learned the gospel.If ever they had known the gospel, they would, on the other hand, confess that they were less than the least- the offscouring of all things- unworthy, ill-deserving, undeserving, and hell-deserving, and ascribe it all to distinguishing grace, which has made them to differ; and to discriminating love, which has chosen them out from the rest of the world. Great Christian, you would have been a great sinner if God had not made you to differ!O! you who are valiant for truth, you would have been as valiant for the devil if grace had not laid hold of you! A seat in heaven shall one day be yours; but a chain in hell would have been yours if grace had not changed you! You can now sing his love; but a licentious song might have been on your lips, if grace had not washed you in the blood of Jesus! You are now sanctified, you are quickened, you are justified; but what would you have been today if it had not been for the interposition of the divine hand? There is not a crime you might not have committed; there is not a folly into which you might not have run.Even murder itself you might have committed if grace had not kept you.You shall be like the angels; but you would have been like the devil if you had not been changed by grace!-----Excerpt from the sermon The Fruitless Vine by C. H. Spurgeon
by Octavius WinslowBy simple, close, and searching views of the cross of Christ, the Spirit most effectually sanctifies the believer. This is the true and great method of gospel sanctification. Here lies the secret of all real holiness and, may I not add, of all real happiness? For if we separate happiness from holiness, we separate that which, in the Covenant of Grace, God has wisely and indissolubly united. The experience of the true believer must testify to this. We are only happy as we are holy – as the body of sin is daily crucified, as the power of the indwelling principle of sin is weakened, and as the outward deportment more beautifully and closely corresponds to the example of Jesus. Let us not then look for a happy walk apart from a holy one. Trials we may have; indeed if we are the Lord's covenant ones, we shall have them, for He Himself has said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). Disappointments we may meet with – broken cisterns, thorny roads, wintry skies; but if we are walking in fellowship with God, walking in the light, growing up into Christ in all things, (with) the Spirit of adoption dwelling in us and leading to a filial and unreserved surrender – oh! there is happiness unspeakable, even though in the very depth of outward trial! A holy walk is a happy walk. This is God's order ... and therefore must be wise and good.The Spirit especially and effectually sanctifies by unfolding the cross of Jesus
by Joel Beeke1. True prayer brings heaven down into the soul, and lifts the soul up to heaven.2. True prayer is the prime exercise of faith where all saving graces converge to climax in both the highest expression of gratitute (to God) and the deepest expression of humility (with regard to ourselves), as well as the broadest expression of love (for others).3. True prayer is real life. It is the “soul's breathing itself into the bosom of its heavenly Father” (Thomas Watson).4. True prayer is the sinner's response to God's voice. The prayer of the broken-hearted is a gift to God in reply to God's gift of prayerful brokenheartedness. True prayer is returning to God through the weaknesses and stains of human brokenness and unworthiness what God has decreed from all eternity, made room for in time, and brought to fruition in the moment of actual soul-wrestling.5. True prayer is a holy art taught by a groaning, wrestling Spirit who often uses the impossibilities and apparent “artlessness” of the believer's entangled and sin-stained life to pencil upon him the image of his worthy Master.6. True prayer is spiritual air for spiritual lungs. Where prayerless praying overtakes prayerful praying, the true believer degenerates into listlessness.7. True prayer is the fruit of God Triune – the Father as Giver and Decreer, the Son as Meritor and Perfector, the Spirit as Wrestler and Indweller.8. True prayer has an unexplainable way of augmenting both the worthiness of Christ and the unworthiness of the sinner; hence, it is both the chief part of humility and of thankfulness (cf. Heid. Cat. Q. 116).
by Louis BerkhofOne of the most important points of the controversy between the Church of Rome and the Reformers, and between Reformed theology and the Arminians, concerned the ground of justification. With respect to this the Reformers taught:1. Negatively, that this cannot be found in any virtue of man, nor in his good works. This position must also be maintained at present over against Rome and the Pelagianizing tendencies of various Churches. Rome teaches that the sinner is justified on the basis of the inherent righteousness that has been infused into his heart, and which, in turn, is the fruit of the co-operation of the human will with prevenient grace. This applies to what is called the first justification; in all following justification the good works of man come into consideration as the formal cause or ground of justification. It is impossible however, that the inherent righteousness of the regenerate man and his good works should be constitute the ground of his justification, for (a) this righteousness is and remains during this life a very imperfect righteousness; (b) it is itself already the fruit of the righteousness of Christ and of the grace of God; and (c) even the best works of believers are polluted with sin. Moreover, Scripture teaches us very clearly that man is justified freely by the grace of God, Rom. 3:24, and that he cannot possibly be justified by the works of the law, Rom. 3:28; Gal. 2:16; 3:11.
INABILITY: FALLEN HUMAN BEINGS ARE BOTH FREE AND ENSLAVEDby J.I. PackerThe heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? - JEREMIAH 17:9Clear thought about the fallen human condition requires a distinction between what for the past two centuries has been called free agency and what since the start of Christianity has been called free will. Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and others spoke of free will in two senses, the first trivial, the second important; but this was confusing, and it is better always to use free agency for their first sense.Free agency is a mark of human beings as such. All humans are free agents in the sense that they make their own decisions as to what they will do, choosing as they please in the light of their sense of right and wrong and the inclinations they feel. Thus they are moral agents, answerable to God and each other for their voluntary choices. So was Adam, both before and after he sinned; so are we now, and so are the glorified saints who are confirmed in grace in such a sense that they no longer have it in them to sin. Inability to sin will be one of the delights and glories of heaven, but it will not terminate anyone's humanness; glorified saints will still make choices in accordance with their nature, and those choices will not be any the less the product of human free agency just because they will always be good and right.
by Tom Lyon1. If I find something with which I cannot agree, I am wrong.2. If I find something which I cannot understand, I am wrong to judge it on that account. A quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “You have a very small brain and you have a very poor spirit within you; do not be surprised that you cannot understand.”3. If I find something which would contradict the clear teaching of Scripture elsewhere, I cannot be right.4. If I find something which would slander the revealed character of God, I am certainly wrong.5. If I find something which brings up an apparent contradiction, I am wrong not to face it squarely.6. If I find something which leads to a summary principle, I am wrong if I do not follow it to its conclusion.7. If I find something which disturbs my settled convictions, I am wrong to dismiss it on that account.8. If I find something which calls for decisive action and I remain inert, I am fatally wrong.9. If I find something which I dare not follow in its practical drift, I am destructively wrong.10. If I find something which others blush to admit or struggle to avoid, I am unwise to follow them at that point. A quote from Calvin: “The delicacy of those who affect an appearance of greater prudence than the Holy Spirit in removing or resolving difficulties, is quite intolerable.”11. If I find something upon which popular religion frowns, I may presume I am on the right track. C.H. Spurgeon quote: “Be assured there is nothing new in theology except that which is false.”12. If I find something which would tend to humble man and glorify God, I am most probably right.----
by A. W. Pink"He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" - Rom. 8:32The above verse supplies us with an instance of Divine logic. It contains a conclusion drawn from a premise; the premise is that God delivered up Christ for all His people, therefore everything else that is needed by them is sure to be given. There are many examples in Holy Writ of such Divine logic. "If God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you?" (Mat_6:30). "If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" (Rom. 5:10). "If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Mat_7:11). So here in our text the reasoning is irresistible and goes straight to the understanding and heart.Our text tells of the gracious character of our loving God as interpreted by the gift of His Son. And this, not merely for the instruction of our minds, but for the comfort and assurance of our hearts. The gift of His own Son is God's guarantee to His people of all needed blessings. The greater includes the less; His unspeakable spiritual gift is the pledge of all needed temporal mercies. Note in our text four things:1. The Father's Costly Sacrifice.
"Those who are passed over by God will never complain that God is being unfair. Left to themsleves, they have no desire to be chosen." - Ian Duguid
A short summary of the historic meaning of what it is to be theologically Reformed
by John CalvinPaul clearly declares that our sins were expiated by the death of Christ, because it was impossible for the law to confer righteousness upon us. It hence follows, that more is required by the law than what we can perform; for if we were capable of fulfilling the law there would have been no need to seek a remedy elsewhere. It is therefore absurd to measure human strength by the precepts of the law; as though God in requiring what is justly due, had regarded what and how much we are able to do.Because it was weak etc. That no one might think that the law was irreverently charged with weakness, or confine it to ceremonies, Paul has distinctly expressed that this defect was not owing to any fault in the law, but to the corruption of our flesh; for it must be allowed that if any one really satisfies the divine law, he will be deemed just before God. He does not then deny that the law is sufficient to justify us as to doctrine, inasmuch as it contains a perfect rule of righteousness: but as our flesh does not attain that righteousness, the whole power of the law fails and vanishes away. Thus condemned is the error or rather the delirious notion of those who imagine that the power of justifying is only taken away from ceremonies; for Paul, by laying the blame expressly on us, clearly shows that he found no fault with the doctrine of the law.
By A. W. PinkExcept ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). In view of these solemn words it is tremendously important that each of us should seek and obtain from God the repentance which He requires, not resting content with anything short of this. Hence, there needs to be the most diligent and prayerful examination as to the character of our repentance. Multitudes are deceived thereon. Many are perplexed by the conflicting teaching of men on this subject; but instead of that discouraging, it should stir up to a more earnest searching of the Scriptures. Before turning to the positive side of this branch of our theme, let us first point out some of the features of a nonsaving repentance.Trembling beneath the preaching of God's Word is not repentance. True, there are thousands of people who have listened unmoved to the most awe-inspiring sermons, and even descriptions of the torments of the damned have struck no terror to their hearts. Yet, on the other hand, many who were deeply stirred, filled with alarm, and moved to tears, are now in hell. I have seen the faces of strong men pale under a searching message, yet next day all its effects had left them. Felix “trembled” (Acts 24:25) under the preaching of Paul!Being “almost persuaded” is not repentance. Agrippa (Acts 26:28) is a case in point. A person may give full assent to the messages of God's servant, admire the gospel, yea, receive the Word with joy, and after all, be only a stony-ground hearer (Matt. 13:20-21). Not only so, he may be conscious of his evildoing and acknowledge the same. Pharaoh owned, “I have sinned against the Lord your God” (Exod. 10:16). A man may realize that he ought to yield himself to the claims of God and become a Christian, yet never be more than “almost persuaded.”
Below we have listed (in no particular order) 75 of the most Christ-honoring (recorded) sermons. And while this is by no means an exhaustive list, this resource ought to keep you occupied and edified for some time. So don't be cross if your favorite was not included or if someone you find distasteful was included. These are simply posted in the hope that you will benefit from them -- lead you to a higher view of God and a true (humble) view of yourself. You may notice that a few sermon/lecture series have been included since, we think, the whole series may be worth listening to.The God Who Is Not Like Us (YouTube) by Kevin DeYoungGod is for God - Ephesians 1:3 (YouTube) by Matt Chandler"God Saves Bad People" Joshua 2: 1-14 (MP3) by Art AzurdiaThe Meaning of the Cross - Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 53:10 (MP3) by Paul WasherTemptation and the Fall by Joel Beeke (MP3)"The Gospel from Numbers" (Video) by J. Ligon DuncanHacking Agag to Pieces - 2 Corinthians 1:12, Romans 6:14-17 (MP3) by John MacArthurNine Essential Keys to the Christian life (MP3 Series) by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson
by Thomas WatsonWhat is it to have other gods besides the true God? I fear upon search, we have more idolaters among us than we are aware of.(1) To trust in any thing more than God, is to make it a god. If we trust in our riches, we make riches our god. We may take comfort, but not put confidence in them. It is a foolish thing to trust in them. They are deceitful riches, and it is foolish to trust to that which will deceive us. Matt 13: 22. They have no solid consistency, they are like landscapes or golden dreams, which leave the soul empty when it awakes or comes to itself. They are not what they promise; they promise to satisfy our desires, and they increase them; they promise to stay with us, and they take wings. They are hurtful. ‘Riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.' Eccl 5: 13. It is foolish to trust to that which will hurt one. Who would take hold of the edge of a razor to help him? They are often fuel for pride and lust. Ezek 28: 5. Jer 5: 7. It is folly to trust in our riches; but how many do, and make money their god! ‘The rich man's wealth is his strong city.' Prov 10: 15. He makes the wedge of gold his hope. Job 31: 24. God made man of the dust of the earth, and man makes a god of the dust of the earth. Money is his creator, redeemer, comforter: his creator, for if he has money, he thinks he is made; his redeemer, for if he be in danger, he trusts to his money to redeem him; his comforter, for if he be sad, money is the golden harp to drive away the evil spirit. Thus by trusting to money, we make it a god.
One thing which seems to be deeply lacking in much of modern evangelicalism is the study of God's attributes. I believe if more of us set aside serious time to study God and His perfections we would not only know him better but it would cause us to worship God in awe - and it would change our lives. Below we have a short description of God from the Westminster Confession of Faith with links to more in-depth studies in most of the attributes it lists. Then, below that I have posted many free resources like eBooks and lecture series' on God and His attributes. Lastly I have selected a few books for purchase in case you want to even go deeper.
by Thomas WatsonBefore all else let us remember, our love to God is a sign of his love to us. 'We love him because he first loved us.' I John 4: 19. By nature we have no love to God; we have hearts of stone. Ezek 36: 26. And how can any love be in hearts of stone? Our loving him is from his loving us. If the glass burn, it is because the sun has shone on it; so if our hearts burn in love, it is a sign the Sun of Righteousness has shone upon us.The First Sign. If we love God, our desire will be after him. 'The desire of our soul is to thy name.' Isa 26: 8. He who loves God, breathes after communion with him. 'My soul thirsteth for the living God.' Psa 42: 2. Persons in love desire to be often conferring together. He who loves God, desires to be much in his presence; he loves the ordinances: they are the glass where the glory of God is resplendent; in the ordinances we meet with him whom our souls love; we have God's smiles and whispers, and some foretastes of heaven. Such as have no desire after ordinances, have no love to God.
Thomas Hartwell Horne (editor)London: Henry G. Bohn, 1844-45. Reproduced from the 6th & 7th edns. These books are in the Public DomainTable of ContentsVolume 1: Genesis to LeviticusView in PDF format pdf Volume 2: Numbers to JoshuaView in PDF format pdf Volume 3: Judges to Second of Kings View in PDF format pdf Volume 4: First of Chronicles to Job View in PDF format pdf Volume 5: Psalms I - LXXII View in PDF format pdf
How many of us try to clean ourselves up before approaching the Lord's Table, as if there were some degree or level of purity that we could reach that would make us acceptable to God? The command to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself should be sufficient to make you recognize your utter inability to do so. In all likelihood, the thinking that we have to make ourselves right and acceptable before God before he will accept us probably derives its origin from the influential but flawed theology of Pietism. For what man could ever clean himself up enough to make himself acceptable to God? And if he could clean himself up to that degree, then what further need would he have of a Savior or the nourishment of the Lord's Supper? He would be self-sufficient. The whole point of both the gospel and the Lord's Supper for Christians is to continually recognize our own spiritual bankruptcy and dependency on the grace and promises of Christ.In his letter to the Galatians Paul asks Christians who were in danger of thinking they could add to Christ's work or make themselves acceptable by some other way, "Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?" (Gal 3:3). No, this is folly, because what God still wants from us as Christians is a broken Spirit, one which still recognizes its own moral and spiritual inability and complete need of God's grace to move on. One that says, "have mercy on me, I am insufficient for the task.". Anyone who thinks, therefore, that they can approach the Lord's table with a pure undefiled heart are really missing the point of the gospel.
Here is the now completed series of B.R.I.D.G.E. Ministries (Laredo, Texas) podcasts covering the doctrines of grace (the so called TULIP acrostic):Teachers include Dr. John Frame, Pastor Jeff Durbin, Pastor John Samson, Dr. James White, Dr. Tim Trumper & Dr. Joel Beeke.1. The Sovereignty of God - Dr. John Frame: Podcast: Play in new window | Download
"so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” - 1 Cor 1:29-31 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:12-13‬ ‭There is no doubt that the Bible teaches that God works in us, and we work. (Phil 2:13). And it is certainly true that good works may be described as a cooperation of sorts, but (and here is the kicker) good works are not the same thing as sanctification.
Repentance is a gift from God. We mustn't assume that repentance has its origin within us. God gives repentance as a gift of grace through the work of the Spirit in His people and as such ought to be treated as a gift with an awareness of an undeserved mercy. (2 Tim. 2:25) Repentance is recognizing that our offense is primarily a transgression against God, His holy character, and His Law, and secondarily a transgression against our neighbor as His image bearer. Therefore real repentance is to be offered for real sins and real transgressions and not for illusory or made-up offenses. (Matt.

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