Thursday, July 30, 2009


I am convinced that we have nothing but what He gives us; we can do nothing but what He does through us; we can be nothing other than who He is in us;

-- [I forget the source]


"The natural mind is incapable of understanding anything spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:14) because the understanding is darkened (Ephesians 4:18). The whole 'mind and conscience is defiled' (Titus 1:15). The natural affections are void of any love of God (John 5:42), being spiritually callous—past feeling (Ephesians 4:19). The natural will deliberately chooses the way of death, rejecting the way of life (Proverbs 8:36)..."

- Michael P.V. Barrett, Complete In Him

-- from a FB comment.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1Co 2.14)

“Take notice that this is a moral ‘cannot,’ not a physical ‘cannot.’ When Paul says, ‘The natural person…is not able to understand them,’ he means that the heart is so resistant to receiving them that the mind justifies the rebellion of the heart by seeing them as foolish. This rebellion is so complete that the heart really cannot receive the things of the Spirit. This is real inability. But it is not a coerced inability. The unregenerate person cannot because he will not. His preferences for sin are so strong that he cannot choose good. It is a real and terrible bondage. But it is not an innocent bondage.”

-- (John Piper, Finally Alive), p. 52



"We are dependent on God, not only for redemption itself but for our faith in the Redeemer; not only for the gift of His Son but for the Holy Ghost for our conversion."

- Jonathan Edwards


Monday, July 27, 2009


The Works Of Martin Luther, Vol VI, Preface To The Epistle To The Romans


-Outwardly you keep the law with works out of fear of punishment or love of gain. Likewise you do everything without free desire and love of the law; you act out of aversion and force. You'd rather act otherwise if the law didn't exist. It follows, then, that you, in the depths of your heart, are an enemy of the law.

-In chapter 7, St. Paul says, "The law is spiritual." What does that mean? If the law were physical, then it could be satisfied by works, but since it is spiritual, no one can satisfy it unless everything he does springs from the depths of the heart. But no one can give such a heart except the Spirit of God, who makes the person be like the law, so that he actually conceives a heartfelt longing for the law and henceforward does everything, not through fear or coercion, but from a free heart. Such a law is spiritual since it can only be loved and fulfilled by such a heart and such a spirit. If the Spirit is not in the heart, then there remain sin, aversion and enmity against the law, which in itself is good, just and holy.

- You must get used to the idea that it is one thing to do the works of the law and quite another to fulfill it. The works of the law are every thing that a person does or can do of his own free will and by his own powers to obey the law. But because in doing such works the heart abhors the law and yet is forced to obey it, the works are a total loss and are completely useless.

- But to fulfill the law means to do its work eagerly, lovingly and freely, without the constraint of the law; it means to live well and in a manner pleasing to God, as though there were no law or punishment. It is the Holy Spirit, however, who puts such eagerness of unconstained love into the heart, as Paul says in chapter 5. But the Spirit is given only in, with, and through faith in Jesus Christ, as Paul says in his introduction. So, too, faith comes only through the word of God, the Gospel, that preaches Christ: how he is both Son of God and man, how he died and rose for our sake. Paul says all this in chapters 3, 4 and 10.

-- it is only unbelief which sins and exalts the flesh and brings desire to do evil external works.

-- That is why only unbelief is called sin by Christ, as he says in John, chapter 16, "The Spirit will punish the world because of sin, because it does not believe in me." Furthermore, before good or bad works happen, which are the good or bad fruits of the heart, there has to be present in the heart either faith or unbelief, the root, sap and chief power of all sin. That is why, in the Scriptures, unbelief is called the head of the serpent and of the ancient dragon which the offspring of the woman, i.e. Christ, must crush, as was promised to Adam (cf. Genesis 3).

-- Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God (cf. John 1).

-- Ask God to work faith in you; otherwise you will remain eternally without faith, no matter what you try to do or fabricate.

-- Neither nature nor free will nor our own powers can bring about such a justice, for even as no one can give himself faith, so too he cannot remove unbelief. How can he then take away even the smallest sin?

In chapters 9, 10 and 11, St. Paul teaches us about the eternal providence of God. It is the original source which determines who would believe and who wouldn't, who can be set free from sin and who cannot. Such matters have been taken out of our hands and are put into God's hands so that we might become virtuous. It is absolutely necessary that it be so, for we are so weak and unsure of ourselves that, if it depended on us, no human being would be saved. The devil would overpower all of us. But God is steadfast; his providence will not fail, and no one can prevent its realization. Therefore we have hope against sin.


When people have trouble with election, their real problem is not with the doctrine of election, but with the doctrine of depravity.

-J.M. Boice

RT @aaronsauer:


"Sometimes our business results from our insecurity. We know things are not right between God and us. We have lost the security of walking close to God. We cannot face the trauma of frankly coming to grips with who we really are. So we keep ourselves busy in order to avoid honest self-examination."

-Ajith Fernando

source: Monergism Books


"If damnation be justice, then mercy may choose its own object."

- Jonathan Edwards

source: Monergism Books

Friday, July 24, 2009


God is so boundlessly pleased with Jesus that in him he is altogether well pleased with us.

-- Spurgeon

Thursday, July 23, 2009


But, by necessity, I do not mean compulsion; but (as they term it) the necessity of immutability, not of compulsion; that is, a man void of the Spirit of God, does not evil against his will as by violence, or as if he were taken by the neck and forced to it, in the same way as a thief or cut-throat is dragged to punishment against his will; but he does it spontaneously, and with a desirous willingness.

And this willingness and desire of doing evil he cannot, by his own power, leave off, restrain, or change; but it goes on still desiring and craving. And even if he should be compelled by force to do any thing outwardly to the contrary, yet the craving will within remains averse to, and rises in indignation against that which forces or resists it.

-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio


These things, therefore, are openly proclaimed for the sake of the Elect: that, being by these means humbled and brought down to nothing, they might be saved. The rest resist this humiliation; nay, they condemn the teaching of self desperation; they wish to have left a little something that they may do themselves. These secretly remain proud, and adversaries to the grace of God.

-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio


First, God has promised certainly His grace to the humbled: that is, to the self-deploring and despairing. But a man cannot be thoroughly humbled, until he comes to know that his salvation is utterly beyond his own powers, counsel, endeavours, will, and works, and absolutely depending on the will, counsel, pleasure, and work of another, that is, of God only.

For if, as long as he has any persuasion that he can do even the least thing himself towards his own salvation, he retains a confidence in himself and do not utterly despair in himself, so long he is not humbled before God;

-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio


“What utility therefore (you say) is there in, or necessity for proclaiming such things openly, when so many evils seem likely to proceed therefrom?” — I answer. It were enough to say — God has willed that they should be proclaimed openly: but the reason of the divine will is not to be inquired into, but simply to be adored, and the glory to be given unto God: who, since He alone is just and wise, doth evil to no one, and can do nothing rashly or inconsiderately,

-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio


“WHO (you say) will endeavour to amend his life?” — I answer, No man! no man can! For your self-amenders without the Spirit, God regardeth not, for they are hypocrites. But the Elect, and those that fear God, will be amended by the Holy Spirit; the rest will perish unamended.

“Who will believe (you say) that he is loved of God?” — I answer, no man will believe it! No man can! But the Elect shall believe it; the rest shall perish without believing it, filled with indignation and blaspheming, as you here describe them...And as to your saying that — “by these doctrines the flood-gate of iniquity is thrown open unto men” — be it so. They pertain to that leprosy of evil to be borne, spoken of before. Nevertheless, by the same doctrines, there is thrown open to the Elect and to them that fear God, a gate unto righteousness, — an entrance into heaven — a way unto God!.;

-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio


"He that will maintain that man's free will is able to do or work anything in spiritual cases, be they ever so small, denies Christ."

-- Martin Luther, Table Talk


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


“What a flood-gate of iniquity (you Erasmus say) would these things, (the predestination of all things great and small, the absolute bondage of the will) publicly proclaimed, open unto men! What bad man would amend his life! Who would believe that he was loved of God! Who would war against his flesh!”

...where is, I will not say your modesty, but that fear of, and that reverence which is due to the true God, when you say, that nothing is more useless to be proclaimed than that Word of God! What! shall your Creator, come to learn of you His creature, what is useful, and what not useful to be preached? What! did that foolish and unwise God, know not what is necessary to be taught, until you His instructor prescribed to Him the measure, according to which He should be wise, and according to which He should command? What! did He not know before you told Him, that that which you infer would be the consequence of this His paradox? If, therefore, God willed that such things should be spoken of and proclaimed abroad, without regarding what would follow, — who art thou that forbiddest it?

note again the last sentence: If, therefore, God willed that such things should be spoken of and proclaimed abroad, without regarding what would follow, — who art thou that forbiddest it?

-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio


THIS, therefore, is also essentially necessary and wholesome for Christians to know: That God foreknows nothing by contingency, but that He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His immutable, eternal, and infallible will. By this thunderbolt, “Free-will” is thrown prostrate, and utterly dashed to pieces.

-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio, p.29


Luther Responding to Erasmus:

THE “Form” of Christianity set forth by you (Erasmus), among other things, has this — “That we should strive with all our powers, have recourse to the remedy of repentance, and in all ways try to gain the mercy of God; without which, neither human will, nor endeavour, is effectual.” Also, “that no one should despair of pardon from a God by nature most merciful.”

These statements of yours are without Christ, without the Spirit, and more cold than ice: so that, the beauty of your eloquence is really deformed by them. Perhaps a fear of the Popes and those tyrants, extorted them from you their miserable vassal, lest you should appear to them a perfect atheist. But what they assert is this — That there is ability in us; that there is a striving with all our powers; that there is mercy in God; that there are ways of gaining that mercy;

Here you plainly assert, that the will does something in those things which pertain unto eternal salvation, when you speak of it as striving: and again, you assert that it is passive, when you say, that without the mercy of God it is ineffective. Though, at the same time, you do not define how far that doing, and being passive, is to be understood: thus, designedly keeping us in ignorance how far the mercy of God extends, and how far our own will extends; what our own will is to do, in that which you enjoin, and what the mercy of God is to do.

-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio


But to be brief. The clearness of the Scripture is twofold; even as the obscurity is twofold also. The one is external, placed in the ministry of the word; the other internal, placed in the understanding of the heart. If you speak of the internal clearness, no man sees one iota in the Scriptures, but he that hath the Spirit of God. All have a darkened heart; so that, even if they know how to speak of, and set forth, all things in the Scripture, yet, they cannot feel them nor know them: nor do they believe that they are the creatures of God, nor any thing else: according to that of Psalm xiv. 1. “The fool hath said in his heart, God is nothing.” For the Spirit is required to understand the whole of the Scripture and every part of it.

If you speak of the external clearness, nothing whatever is left
obscure or ambiguous; but all things that are in the Scriptures, are by the Word brought forth into the clearest light, and proclaimed to the whole world.

-- Martin Luther, De Servo Arbitrio, p.23

Monday, July 20, 2009


Unwillingness to accept God's "way of escape" from temptation frightens me - what a rebel yet resides within.

- Jim Elliot

source: hereiblog


"People do not drift toward holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith."

"We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated." – D. A. Carson

-- D. A. Carson, For the Love of God, Volume Two (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 1999), 23.

via: Ryan Miley


"Free will I have often heard of, but I have never seen it. I have met with will, and plenty of it, but it has either been led captive by sin or held in blessed bonds of grace."


Sunday, July 19, 2009


“God has declared in the gospel that whenever we come to him, we are to call upon him freely and openly as our Father, who has adopted us as his children. If we do not have this assurance, the thought of serving God will make us grind our teeth.

If, however, we are persuaded that God looks upon us favourably; if, though we are weak and can do nothing worthy of his approval, he accepts us in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, then we will surely be filled with courage.

We will be like a ship’s sail that has been stretched and filled by the breeze! Thus, our hearts will run to obey him, like a ship driven along by its sail, when we know that God delights in us and accepts our works, not wanting us to be compelled into servitude. He is happy for us to be his children, and that we desire to obey him.”

- John Calvin, Sermons on Galatians (preaching on Gal 5:1-3)


Friday, July 17, 2009


The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.

-Samuel Chadwick



What cause have they who have an interest in Christ, to glory in their Redeemer! They are often beset with many evils, and many mighty enemies surround them on every side, with open mouths ready to devour them. But they need not fear any of them. They may glory in Christ, the rock of their salvation, who appears so gloriously above them all. They may triumph over Satan, over this evil world, over guilt, and over death. For as their Redeemer is mighty, and is so exalted above all evil, so shall they also be exalted in him, They are now, in a sense, so exalted. For nothing can hurt them. Christ carries them, as on eagle's wings, high out of the reach of all evils, so that they cannot come near them, to do them any real harm. And, in a little time, they shall be carried so out of their reach, that they shall not be able even to molest them anymore forever.

-- Jonathan Edwards




CANON 7. If anyone affirms that we can form any right opinion or make any right choice which relates to the salvation of eternal life, as is expedient for us, or that we can be saved, that is, assent to the preaching of the gospel through our natural powers without the illumination and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who makes all men gladly assent to and believe in the truth, he is led astray by a heretical spirit, and does not understand the voice of God who says in the Gospel, "For apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), and the word of the Apostle, "Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God" (2 Cor. 3:5).

-- Council of Orange (529)



CANON 6. If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labor, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10).

-- Council of Orange (529)



CANON 8. If anyone maintains that some are able to come to the grace of baptism by mercy but others through free will, which has manifestly been corrupted in all those who have been born after the transgression of the first man, it is proof that he has no place in the true faith. For he denies that the free will of all men has been weakened through the sin of the first man, or at least holds that it has been affected in such a way that they have still the ability to seek the mystery of eternal salvation by themselves without the revelation of God. The Lord himself shows how contradictory this is by declaring that no one is able to come to him "unless the Father who sent me draws him" (John 6:44), as he also says to Peter, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 16:17), and as the Apostle says, "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12:3).

Council of Orange (529 AD)


Thursday, July 16, 2009


"Real success is not getting results at any cost. It is not prosperity, power, prominence, popularity, or any of the other worldly notions of success. Real success is doing the will of God regardless of the consequences."

- John MacArthur

"Prick John Bunyan anywhere and he will bleed Bible." Let it not be said of the King's heralds: 'Prick him and he bleeds movies."

- Unknown

(both from Mark Calhoun)


Another solid, solid post from Ryan Miley on FB that I am posting here to ensure I retain a copy:

“If God is awesome, sovereign and holy; if human beings are small, sinful, and lost; if Christ died and rose again by a most miraculous and costly act of grace, then this should impact the way things happen in church. This is not to argue for a one-size-fits-all-my-way-or-the-highway approach to church. Context and culture are important; but what is expressed through the idioms of particular cultural manifestations of the church should be awe, reverence, and, above all seriousness – not a colourless and cold miserable seriousness but a fitting amazement at the greatness of God and His grace.

A church service involving clowns or fancy dress or skits or stand-up comedy does not reflect the seriousness of the gospel; and those who take the gospel seriously should know better. Frankly, it is more appropriate to liberal theology which does not take the gospel, or the God of the gospel, seriously. Serious things demand serious idioms.

– Carl Trueman, “Look, It’s Rubbish!”


Oh, Christian, have you seen the Lord Jesus? Has this morning-star shone into your heart with its enlightening, quickening beams? Then rejoice and be exceeding glad! Shall others rejoice in the world—and will not you rejoice in Christ! How much better is He than all other things! It reflects disparagement upon Christ—when His saints are sad and drooping. Is not Christ yours? What more would you have!

-- Thomas Watson;



“You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”

-- John Bunyan;

source: JoyCourville


There is nothing that keeps wicked men, at any one moment, out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God. By “the mere pleasure of God,” I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment.

-Jonathan Edwards


Man is never sufficiently touched and affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself with God's majesty.

- John Calvin


I am on the way to heaven, and within a few months, perhaps days, I shall see his face and sing his praises. He loved me before I was born; before a star began to shine he loved me, and he has never ceased to do so all these years. When I have sinned he has loved me; when I have forgotten him he has loved me; and when in the days of my sin I cursed him, yet still he loved me;

-- C.H. Spurgeon;


"God is so powerful that He gives His enemies the power that they need to oppose Him"

The very soldiers who nailed Jesus to the Cross where having their own heart beat, lungs, and brain signal provided by the second-by-second provision of Jesus' merciful upholding hand.

Heb 1:3 ...he upholds the universe by the word of his power..

Act 17:28 for "'In him we live and move and have our being;

John 19:11 Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin."


“Our sins are often as dear to us as our children: we love them, hug them, cleave to them, and delight in them. To part with them is as hard as cutting off a right hand, or plucking out a right eye. But it must be done. The parting must come. ‘Though wickedness be sweet in the sinner’s mouth, though he hide it under his tongue; though he spare it, and forsake it not,’ ... (Job 20:12,13)" "...yet it must be given up, if he wishes to be saved. He and sin must quarrel, if he and God are to be friends.”

- J.C. Ryle (via: Ryan Miley)


O bottomless Fountain of all good, I am astonished at the difference between my receivings--and my deservings, the state I am now in--and my past gracelessness, the heaven I am bound for--and the hell I merit. Who made me to differ, but You? I could not have begun to love You, had You not first loved me. O Lord, I am astonished that such a crown should fit the head of such a sinner...such high advancement for one so worthless, such joys for so vile a rebel!

A Puritan Prayer: Source:


A holy Savior offered up a sinless atonement for unholy, sinful man! Look at it, beloved, in this light, and let your hearts glow with love, adoration, and praise, as you kneel before the cross, and feel the distilling upon your conscience of that blood that pardons, covers, and cancels all your guilt.

(Octavius Winslow, "The Preciousness of Christ's Blood") via:


And now that the Spirit has touched her heart, she feels she is diseased, and discovers her filthiness and nakedness, knows she is ugly and poor, and cannot think the Bridegroom's heart is towards her, or that she can find favor in His eyes. And therefore she cries out, "I am black!" "Behold, I am vile! My loveliness has turned into corruption!"

But He overwhelms her by responding,"You are all beautiful, my love, there is no spot in you!"

Then she exclaims, "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death!" He replies, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine!

(Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1849) (source: Grace


But she has no personal charms—she is ugly! Then He will put His loveliness upon her, and through it her beauty shall be perfect. But she is poor! So He bestows Himself and His fullness upon her--and thus endows her with unsearchable riches!

(Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1849) (source:


Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished, O earth! that this most glorious Immanuel, the Prince of Peace, whom angels worship, and before whom the seraphim bow-- should from all eternity engage to come and seek His Bride from this poor world, and claim her for His own! Yet so it is!

But she is filthy and polluted! (Ezek. 16:6; Job 15:14-16; Isa. 64:6) Then His own precious veins shall pour forth the rich crimson flood to cleanse her, (Rev. 1:5) and His Spirit shall open the fountain to wash her from her sin and uncleanness. (Zech. 13:1)

But she is naked and bare! (Ezek. 16:22) Then He will cast His skirt over her, (Ezek. 16:8) and will for her, weave in the loom of the Law (Rom. 5:19) fine linen--clean and white--a robe in which she shall be fit to appear at His court!

Moreover the Spirit shall bring near the righteousness of Jesus, (Isa. 46:13) clothing her with "the garments of salvation," and covering her with the "robe of righteousness," "as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."

(Letters of Ruth Bryan, 1849) (source: Grace


"I am convinced that the first step towards attaining a higher standard of holiness is to realize more fully the amazing sinfulness of sin."

~ J.C. Ryle

Wednesday, July 15, 2009



Is Jesus Christ altogether lovely? Then I beseech you set your souls upon this lovely Jesus. I am sure such an object as has been here represented, would compel love from the coldest breast and hardest heart. Away with those empty nothings, away with this vain deceitful world, which deserves not the thousandth part of the love you give it. Let all stand aside and give way to Christ.

O if only you knew his worth and excellency, what he is in himself, what he has done for you, and deserved from you, you would need no arguments of mine to persuade you to love him!

-- John Flavel



"Our light must shine. It must diffuse itself around, making men to feel that we are children of the Most High God. In word, in look, in life, in daily deportment, our character as men redeemed by blood and dwelt in by the Spirit, must be apparent. All things that are lovely and of good report must be seen in us (Phil. 4:8); so shall it be known Whose we are and Whom we serve."

-- Horatius Bonar

(source: S.M. Whitley)


Nothing that is good can exist which God did not will to be, and nothing that is evil can exist which God did not will to allow. The will of God goes before all other wills. It does not depend on them, but they depend on it. It's movements regulate them. The "I will" of Jehovah, is that which sets in motion everything in heaven and in earth.....

The "I will" of Jehovah, is the spring and the origin of all that is done throughout the universe, great and small, among things animate and inanimate. It was this "I will" that brought angels into being, and still sustains them. It was this "I will" that was the origin of salvation to a lost world. It was this "I will" that provided a Redeemer, and accomplished redemption.....Everything that can be called good in man, or in the universe, originates in the "I will" of Jehovah.

-- Horatius Bonar (source:

I do not deny that in conversion man himself wills. In everything that he does, thinks, feels, he of necessity wills. In believing he wills; in repenting he wills; in turning from his evil ways he wills. All this is true..... But while fully admitting this, there is another question behind it of great interest and movement. Are these movements of man's will towards good the effects of the forthputting of God's will?

Is man willing, because he has made himself so, or because God has made him so? Does he become willing entirely by an act of his own will, or by chance, or by moral suasion, or because acted on by created causes and influences from without?

I answer unhesitatingly, he becomes willing, because another and a superior will, even that of God, has come into contact with his, altering its nature and its bent.

-- Horatius Bonar (source:


Men insist that it is unjust and tyrannical in God to control their wills, yet see nothing unjust, nothing proud, nothing Satanic in attempting to fetter and direct the will of God. Man, it seems, cannot have his own foolish will gratified, unless the all-wise God will consent to relinquish His! Such are some of the steps in the march of Atheism.

-- Horatius Bonar. (source:

If salvation is made to hinge or any desert or fitness in man, seen or foreseen, grace is at an end.

-- Horatius Bonar; (source:

Man finds fault with election, as a mere system of arbitrary partiality and favoritism; and tells us if there be such a thing as total helplessness in man and sovereign election in God, then man is not to blame if he be lost. Man's entire apostasy and death in sin, so he cannot save himself, and God's entire supremacy, so that He saves whom He will, are doctrines exceedingly distasteful to human pride, but they are Scriptural.

-- Horatius Bonar; (source:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


“Let all parents consider, what a fearful thing it is to be the instruments of ruining for ever, those that receive their beings instrumentally from them, and to seek whose good they stand obliged, by all the laws of God and nature.

In vain are all your cares and studies for their bodies, whilst their souls perish for want of knowledge. You rejoiced at their birth, but they will have cause to curse the day they were born of you and say, you were solicitous for their bodies, but careless of their souls; earnest to see them rich, but indifferent whether there were gracious; you neglected to teach them the way of salvation, but the devil did not neglect teach them the way of sin. You will one day wish you had never been parents, when the doleful cries of your damned children shall bring such notes as these in your ears: "0 cursed Father! Oh cruel, merciless mother! Whose examples have drawn me after you, into all this. You had time enough, and motives enough to have warned me of this place and misery whilst my heart was tender, and my affections pliable:

Had it not been as easy to have put a Bible as a play-book before me? To have chastised me when I provoked God by sin, as when I provoke you about a trifle? One word spoken in season might have saved my soul; one reproof wisely given and set on by your example, might have preserved me. Had it not been the same pains to have asked me, child, what wilt thou do to be saved? As, what wilt thou do to live in this world? Or, had I but observed any serious religion in you, had I but found or heard my father or mother upon their knees in prayer, it might have awakened me to a consideration of my condition. In my youth I was shame-faced, fearful, credulous, and apt to imitate; had you but had wisdom as other parents have, to have taken hold of any of these handles in time, you had rescued my soul from hell.

Nay, so cruel have you been to your own child, that you allowed me no time (if I had had a disposition) for any exercise of religion; yea, you had quenched and stifled the sparks of convictions and better inclinations that sometimes were in my heart. O happy had it been if I had never been born of you, or seen your faces." This must be the result and issue of your negligence, except God, by some other hand (which is no thanks to you) rescue them from their impending ruin.”

The Works of John Flavel Volume 3 - Pneumatologia: A Treatise of the Soul of Man

source: Gene Long


"The Calvinist is the man who has seen God."

-- B.B. Warfield.



"The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly."

- Soren Kiekegaard;

(source: Jason Martin)

[note: I am not an expert in Kiekegaard's material, I think though he did have some skewed ideas, but forget exactly what they were, so I am not endorsing him specifically, but this point is accurate.]


"If you have courage, you will influence people based on your convictions. If you lack courage, you will influence people based on your comfort zones. Courage will take you anywhere you believe God is leading you. Without courage, you will go where you are comfortable."

-- Wayne Schmidt

(source: Jason Martin)


"The Christian is the most contented man in the world, but he is the least contented with the world.

-Charles Spurgeon

(source: Jason Martin)


“There are two kinds of Christians: Those who sincerely believe in God and those who, just as sincerely, believe that they believe. You can tell them apart by their actions in decisive moments. “


(source: Jason Martin)


"I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience."

~John Bunyan

(source: Jason Martin)


My old southern baptist pastor would walk out and see everyone's gleaming smiles and say something like "what put that smile on your face? me? or jesus?"

Testimony of : "dudeman_what"


"It always seems inexplicable to me that those who claim free will so very boldly for man should not also allow some free will to God. Why should not Jesus Christ have the right to choose his own bride?"

- C. H. Spurgeon

VIA: Neil Carter


“Christ is much more powerful to save than Adam was to destroy.” -

John Calvin, Commentary on Romans, Collected Works


[and might I add...than Satan was to destroy;]



What is held by some, that none can be in a state of salvation before they have particularly acted a reception of the Lord Jesus Christ for a Savior, and that there cannot be sanctification one moment before the exercise of faith, as they have described it, cannot be true, as they explain this reception of Christ. There must be the principle before there can be the action, in all cases; there must be an alteration made in the heart of the sinner before there can be action consequent upon this alteration; yea, there must be a principle of holiness before holiness is in exercise. Yea, this alteration must not only be before this act of faith in nature (as the cause before the effect) but also in time, if this embracing of Christ as a Savior be a successive action, that is, an action where one thought and act of the mind in any wise follows another, as it certainly is.

For first, there must be an idea of Jesus Christ in the mind, that is an agreeable and truly lovely idea to him; but this cannot be before the soul is sanctified. There must also be the acts of true belief, of his willingness to receive, etc.; neither can this be before sanctification. There must also be a hatred of sin before Christ can be received as a Savior from sin; neither can this be without sanctification. And after this, there must be the act of embracing; neither is there properly an act of faith, as they explain [it], before this is done. Now these thoughts must succeed one another, whether in this order or not, although it be as quick as one thought can follow another; but sanctification must be in the soul before one of them is in the mind.

Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 13, The “Miscellanies:” Entry Nos. a–z, aa–zz, 1–500, ed. Thomas A. Schafer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 244-245.


This sanctification is not referring to a Christian's spirtual growth after salvation and justification, but that of "being set apart for a holy use" as the tabernacle furniture was sanctifed;


”Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.”

-- Martin Luther



"Some of you have truly been brought by God to believe in Jesus. Yet you have no abiding peace, and very little growth in holiness. Why is this? It is because your eye is fixed anywhere but on Christ. You are so busy looking at books, or looking at men, or looking at the world, that you have no time, no heart, for looking at Christ. No wonder you have little peace and joy in believing..."

"No wonder you live so inconsistent and unholy a life. Change your plan. Consider the greatness and glory of Christ, who has undertaken all in the stead of sinners, and you would find it quite impossible to walk in darkness, or to walk in sin. Oh, what low, despicable thoughts you have of the glorious Immanuel! Lift your eyes from your own bosom, downcast believer - look upon Jesus. It is good to consider your ways, but it is far better to consider Jesus. Oh, believer, consider Jesus. Meditate on these things. Look and look again, until your peace flows like a river."

- Robert Murray M'Cheyne

via: Ryan Miley

Let your constant motto be, "looking unto Jesus;" looking to Him just as you are; looking unto Him when faith is feeble; looking unto Him when faith is tried; looking unto Him when faith is declining; yes, looking unto Him when you fear you...... have no faith. Look up, tried and tempted soul! Jesus is the Author, the Sustainer, and He will become the Finisher of your faith. All you need is in Him; one glimpse, dim though it be, of His cross, one touch, trembling though it be, of His garment, will lift you from your lowest depths, lighten your heaviest burden, gild your darkest prospect.

~ Octavius Winslow

Happy were it, if puzzled and perplexed Christians would turn their eyes from the defects that are in their obedience, to the fullness and completeness of Christ's obedience; and see themselves complete in Him, when most lame and defective in themselves.
- John Flavel,


BY the former steps is the altar of Ahaz set on the right hand of the altar of God, — the Arminian idol, in a direct opposition, exalted to an equal pitch with the power and will of the Most High. I shall now present unto you the Spirit of God once more contending with the towering imaginations of poor mortals……they affirm that his will may be resisted, he may fail of his intentions, be frustrate of his ends,— he may and doth propose such things as he neither doth nor can at any time accomplish, and that because the execution of such acts of his will might haply clash against the freedom of the will of men; which, if it be not an expression of spiritual pride above all that ever the devil attempted in heaven,

John Owen. A Display of Arminianism. Chapter 6 (p.64)


"The new crop of church books decry the old church-growth models [yet] they still operate with the same basic assumption: namely, that churches should be growing and something is wrong with the church that isn't.

This assumption is alien to the New Testament. There simply is no biblical teaching to indicate that church size is the measure of success."

Monday, July 13, 2009


"The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

All the sins of all men.
All the sins of some men, or
Some of the sins of all men.
John Owen


“We are distressed because our churches are half empty; and many of them would be emptier if the Gospel were preached in them”

-W. R. Inge

via: Ryan Miley


The tragedy is, is that people want community instead of Christ, and people come for community instead of Christ; The greater tragedy is that congregations are serving community instead of Christ, and congregations provide community instead of Christ;

(Fruitland Professor)


“Beware of making a Christ of your faith, precious as it is. If you are staying away from the Savior because your faith is weak, you are substituting your faith for Christ—the channel for the Fountain of comfort, peace, and salvation.

If I have a mission to the sovereign of these realms—some petition to prefer—and I linger upon the steps that conduct me to the royal presence, or in the corridor that leads me into the royal chamber, what marvel if I have no audience, and, consequently, no response to my request? That lofty flight of steps, that magnificent corridor, are but introductions to my approach to the sovereign, not the sovereign herself. Such is faith! Divine and precious as it is, faith is but the path that leads us to the King.”

- Octavius Winslow's, The Preciousness of Faith


WALKING WITH GOD.—Genesis v.24.
by William Cowper(1731-1800)

Oh! for a closer walk with God,
A calm and heavenly frame;
A light to shine upon the road
That leads me to the Lamb!

Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I saw the Lord?
Where is the soul-refreshing view
Of Jesus and his word?

What peaceful hours I once enjoy’d!
How sweet their memory still!
But they have left an aching void,
The world can never fill.

Return, O holy Dove, return!
Sweet messenger of rest:
I hate the sins that made thee mourn,
And drove thee from my breast.

The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee.

So shall my walk be close with God,
Calm and serene my frame:
So purer light shall mark the road
That leads me to the Lamb.



‘Firstly, you should know that Holy Scripture is such a book as to make the wisdom of all other books foolishness, because it is the only book that teaches about eternal life. Therefore you should immediately despair of your reason and understanding. They will not gain you eternal life, but, on the contrary, your presumptuousness will cast you and others like you out of heaven (as happened to Lucifer) into the abyss of hell. But kneel down in your little room and pray to God with real humility and earnestness, that he through his dear Son may give you his Holy Spirit, who will enlighten you, lead you, and give you understanding.

‘Thus you see how David keeps praying in the above-mentioned Psalm, “Teach me, Lord, instruct me, lead me, show me,” and many more words like these. Although he well knew and daily heard and read the text of Moses and other books besides, he still wants to lay hold of the real teacher of Scripture himself, so that he may not grasp it in a disordered way with his reason and become his own teacher. For such practice gives rise to factious spirits who allow themselves to nurture the delusion that Scripture is subject to them and can be easily grasped with their reason, as if they were Markolf or Aesop’s Fables, for which no Holy Spirit and no prayers are needed.’

- Martin Luther.



"If it were possible for me to alter any part of His plan, I could only spoil it."

- John Newton

RT @sermonindex:


"If any man ascribes anything of salvation, even the very least thing, to the free will of man, he knows nothing of grace, and he has not learned Jesus Christ rightly."

- Martin Luther

via: Ryan Miley


  • Every resolution written by Edwards is great and profitable, but tonight, here are a few that really jump out to my mind and heart as a needful place to begin in my own life:


8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.

15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.

22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.

29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.

36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.

55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.

56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.

65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.

68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.

-- Johnathan Edwards, Resolutions, Excerpts.


“Once I was a slave but now I am a son; once I was dead but now I am alive; once I was darkness but now I am light in the Lord; once I was a child of wrath, an heir of hell, but now I am an heir of heaven; once I was Satan’s bond-servant but now I am God’s freeman; once I was under the spirit of bondage but now I am under the Spirit of adoption that seals up to me the remission of my sins..."

- Thomas Brooks

via: Ryan Miley


"The thing at bottom is that men have low thoughts of God, and high thoughts of themselves; and therefore it is that they look upon God as having so little right, and they so much."

-- Jonathan Edwards, "The Justice of God"

via: Joshua Owen


Article 9: Election Not Based on Foreseen Faith

This same election took place, not on the basis of foreseen faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, or of any other good quality and disposition, as though it were based on a prerequisite cause or condition in the person to be chosen, but rather for the purpose of faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, and so on. Accordingly, election is the source of each of the benefits of salvation. Faith, holiness, and the other saving gifts, and at last eternal life itself, flow forth from election as its fruits and effects. As the apostle says, He chose us (not because we were, but) so that we should be holy and blameless before him in love (Eph. 1:4).

Canons of Dort. Article 9. 1619. In response to the errors of the Remonstrance in 1610.


God's Eternal Decision

The fact that some receive from God the gift of faith within time, and that others do not, stems from his eternal decision. For all his works are known to God from eternity (Acts 15:18; Eph. 1:11). In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen. And in this especially is disclosed to us his act-- unfathomable, and as merciful as it is just--of distinguishing between people equally lost. This is the well-known decision of election and reprobation revealed in God's Word. This decision the wicked, impure, and unstable distort to their own ruin, but it provides holy and godly souls with comfort beyond words.

Canons of Dort. Article 6. 1619 in response to the errors of the Remonstrance writings in 1610.


In brief, there is no prophecy nor prediction in the whole Scripture, no promise to the church or faithful, to whose accomplishment the free actions and concurrence of men are required, but evidently declareth that God disposeth of the hearts of men, ruleth their wills, inclineth their affections, and determines them freely to choose and do what he in his good pleasure hath decreed shall be performed;

-- John Owen. p.61 A Display of Arminianism.


Once, my Christian friends, you were dead in trespasses and sins. In the figurative language of scripture, a man is said to be dead to any object, or class of objects, when he is wholly insensible to it, or unaffected by it, or unsusceptible of impressions from it. Thus Paul speaks of himself as dying, or becoming dead to the world; meaning that he was less and less affected by worldly objects, and more and more insensible to their influence. So you were once dead with respect to your Creator, your Redeemer, to religious, to divine things, and to all the concerns of your everlasting peace.

In other words, you were entirely insensible to these things; they did not affect you, they made no impression upon your minds, any more than if they did not exist, and, in fact, you did not at all realize their existence. You were alive to other objects. You possessed an animal life, which enabled you to have communion with the irrational animals in the pleasures of sense. You possessed what may be called rational or intellectual life, by which you were qualified to maintain intercourse and communion with your rational fellow creatures in the pursuit and enjoyment of worldly objects. But of that spiritual life, which renders the soul susceptible of impressions from spiritual objects, and prepares it for the enjoyment of intercourse with God and holy beings, you were entirely destitute. Being thus spiritually dead, you were, of course, devoid of spiritual sense. You could neither hear, nor see, nor feel. You could not hear God’s voice, either in his word, or in the dispensations of his providence. He spoke once, yea, twice, but you perceived it not; nor did you ever truly hear a single sermon, though you might, perhaps, listen to many. You were also spiritually blind. You saw no glory in God, no beauty in Christ, no hatefulness in sin, no excellency in the plan of salvation revealed in the gospel.

Like all men in their natural state, you received not the things of the Spirit of God, but they were foolishness to you; neither could you know them, because they are spiritually discerned, and you had no spiritual sight. Nor were you less destitute of feeling. You felt nothing of the load of guilt, which pressed you down; nothing of the wickedness and hardness of your own hearts; nothing of the goodness of God and the dying love of Jesus Christ.

You did not even feel, that you were dead, but lay buried in a grave of trespasses, and wrapped up in a winding sheet of sins, as insensible of your situation as a corpse, and as completely cut off from all intercourse or communion with God and holy beings, as a corpse is from intercourse with the living; nor did you any more desire to rise from this state, than a corpse desires to rise from the slumbers of the grave.

Edward Payson, on Ephesians 2, Sermon XVI, The Dead in Sin Made Alive.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Whether the first, and chiefest part, in disposing of things in this world, ought to be ascribed to God or man? Men for the most part have vindicated this pre-eminence unto themselves, by exclamations that so it must be.... Never did any men, “postquam Christiana gens esse caepit,” eagerly endeavor the erecting of this Babel than the Arminians, the modern blinded patrons of human self-sufficiency;

John Owen. A Display of Arminianism p.28;

postquam (when, after, because) Christiana (Christian) esse (to be) gens (clan, race, people) capit (caepit, he takes, they take) : My frail, unverified, translation: Never did any men “When people taking (claiming to be) the Christian label” more eagerly endeavor the erecting of this Babel than the Arminians, the modern blinded patrons of human self-sufficiency;


As a desire of self-sufficiency was the first cause of this infirmity, so a conceit thereof is that wherewith he still languisheth; nothing doth he more contend for than an independency of any supreme power, which might either help, hinder, or control him in his actions. This is that bitter root from whence have sprung all those heresies and wretched contentions which have troubled the church, concerning the power of man in working his own happiness, and his exemption from the over-ruling providence of Almighty God

-- John Owen, A Display of Arminianism p. 28,


"never did any of his (Satan's) emissaries employ his received talents with more skill and diligence than our Arminians, laboring earnestly, in the first place, to instill
some errors that are most plausible, intending chiefly an introduction of them that are more palpable, knowing that if those be for a time suppressed until these be well digested, they will follow of their own accord. .... .... it will appear how, under a most vain pretense of farthering piety, they have prevaricated (intentional lie to misdirect) against the very grounds of Christianity"

- John Owen, A Display of Arminianism. p.25


Book to attempt to read this Summer: (full title):

"A Display of Arminianism, being a discovery of the old Pelagian idol Free-will with the new goddess Contingency, advancing themselves into the throne of God of heaven, to the prejudice of His grace, providence, and supreme dominion over the children of men.

Wherein the main errors by which they are fallen off from the recieved doctrine of all the Reformed Churches, with their opposition in divers particulars to the Doctrine established in the Church of England, are discovered and laid open out of their own writings and confessions, and confuted by the Word of God. "

author: John Owen


“Since then your serene majesty and your lordships seek a simple answer, I will give it in this manner, neither horned nor toothed: unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me.”

- Martin Luther [Luther’s Works – vol. 32, pp. 112, 113]

Saturday, July 11, 2009


A religion of conditions, contingencies, and uncertainties is not Christianity—its technical name is Arminianism, and Arminianism is a daughter of Rome. It is that God dishonoring, Scripture-repudiating, soul-destroying system of Popery—whose father is the Devil—which prates about human merit, creature-ability...,

-- A.W. Pink (Comfort for Christians)..."daughter of Rome"

The Kingdom Hall does not find the doctrine of Jesus' deity to be palatable, The Arminian does not find the doctrine of: Depravity, Election, Atonement, Effectual Grace, Divine Sovereignty, Reprobation, to be palatable. I would not want to go around saying that the Kingdom Hall is just "on the milk" and will eventually "mature" in time. Mormons redefine grace and faith though they use the terms, and I submit that the "true" Arminian has also redefined grace and faith. Catholics after all agree to the deity of Christ, just as the "true" Arminian does.


For instance, the Arminian holds that Christ, when He died, did not die with an intent to save any particular person. And they teach that Christ’s death does not in itself secure, beyond doubt, the salvation of any man living. They believe that Christ died to make the salvation of all men possible, or that by the doing of something else, any man who pleases may attain unto eternal life. Consequently, they are obliged to hold that if man’s will would not give way and voluntarily surrender to grace, then Christ’s atonement would be worthless.

They hold that there was no particularity and specialty in the death of Christ. Christ died, according to them, as much for Judas in Hell as for Peter who mounted to Heaven. They believe that for those who are consigned to eternal fire, there was as true and real a redemption made as for those who now stand before the Throne of the Most High. Now we believe no such thing. We hold that Christ, when He died, had an object in view and that object will most assuredly and beyond a doubt, be accomplished.

For we declare that the measure of the effect of Christ’s love is the measure of the design of it. We cannot so belie our reason as to think that the intention of Almighty God could be frustrated, or that the design of so great a thing as the atonement can by any way whatever, be missed of. We hold—we are not afraid to say what we believe—that Christ came into this world with the intention of saving “a multitude which no man can number.”

And we believe that as the result of
this every person for whom He died must, beyond the shadow of a doubt, be cleansed from sin and stand, washed in His blood, before the Father’s Throne. We do not believe that Christ made any effectual atonement for those who are forever damned. We dare not think that the blood of Christ was ever shed with the intention of saving those whom God foreknew never would be saved—and some of whom were even in Hell when Christ, according to some men’s account,
died to save them.



I shall not blush to preach before you the doctrine of God’s Divine Sovereignty. I shall not stagger to preach in the most unreserved and unguarded manner the doctrine of Election. I shall not be afraid to propound the great Truth of the Final perseverance of the Saints. I shall not withhold that undoubted Truth of Scripture the Effectual Calling of God’s elect.



"Because there isn't enough joy in the house of God. We need entertainment, because entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy."

- Leonard Ravenhill.

credits: Kim Nejudne


"If a wicked man seems to have peace at death; it is not from the knowledge of his happiness, but from the ignorance of his danger"

-- Thomas Watson

credit: Lowell Brown

Friday, July 10, 2009


"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again."

- Charles H. Spurgeon.

via: Charlie Khen


John Bunyan once said that the best prayer he ever uttered had enough sin in it to damn the world


"Now can we suppose that Christ came down from heaven and went through all this upon uncertainties, not knowing what purchase he should get, how great or how small? Did he die only upon probabilities, without absolute certainty who, or how many, or whether any should be redeemed by what he did and suffered?"

Jonathan Edwards, Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol 13, Yale UP, 1994, 212



There is no broader way to apostasy than to reject God’s sovereignty in all things concerning the revelation of himself and our obedience, refusing to ‘bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ’. From the refusal to submit to God’s sovereignty over all things, including our eternal salvation, arose Pelagianism, Arminianism and every present-day heresy.

John Owen


A great sickness has developed in contemporary evangelical Christianity that is built around self. The emphasis on self image, self esteem, and self worth is nothing more than humanistic worldliness. Self-ism has twisted evangelicalism from a God-centered to a man-centered perspective. Salvation is now seen from the viewpoint of what can it do for us? That is a horrifying error.

John MacArthur



God today is used as a personal resource rather than known, worshiped, and trusted.

---Michael Horton

via: iamfeeblesaint

Wednesday, July 8, 2009



“No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.”

I think that what happens for many pastors is that the ministry does not flourish with as much power and joy as they had hoped and just to survive emotionally they start to give way to amusements and diversions and hobbies.

>The ministry becomes a 40-hour-a-week job that you do like any other, and then the evenings and days off are filled up with harmless, enjoyable diversions. And the whole feel changes. The radical urgency fades. The wartime mentality shifts to a peacetime mentality.The lifestyle starts to get cushy. The all-consuming singleness of vision evaporates.

Let me say it again. Our people need a God-besotted man. Even if they criticize the fact that you are not available at the dinner on Saturday night because you must be with God, they need at least one man in their life who is radically and totally focused on God and the pursuit of the knowledge of God, and the ministry of the word of God.

How many people in your churches do you know that are laboring to know God, who are striving earnestly in study and to enlarge their vision of God. Precious few. Well then, what will become of our churches if we the pastors, who are charged with knowing and unfolding the whole counsel of God, shift into neutral, quit reading and studying and writing, and take on more hobbies and watch more television?

—The Pastor as Theologian: Reflections on the Life and Ministry of Jonathan Edwards, a sermon delivered on April 15, 1988 by John Piper at the 1988 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors.

pulled off:


“Precisely because his was an actual, not an imaginary or hypothetical, sacrificial death in which he vicariously bore their curse, paid their debt, endured their judicial rejection by God, as evidenced by his cry of dereliction from the cross, and died their death, Christ actually accomplished and procured everything essential to the salvation of the elect. In sum, he did not simply open the way of salvation to all men and promise to aid them if they would also do something to procure it and keep it their own. Nor did he simply make the salvation of the elect possible. Rather, he actually did everything necessary to the infallible securing of the salvation of the elect, his people, his sheep, his own–even those whom the Father gave to him.

Taken from A New Systematic Theology Of The Christian Faith [2nd Edition] (pp.667-668)


Stolen from: Reymond on the Perfection of Christ’s Cross Work


Always distinguish between seeking Heaven and seeking God, between shunning Hell and shunning sin. For any hypocrite will desire Heaven and dread Hell. But only the sincere hunger after righteousness.

- C.H. Spurgeon (sermon no. 2103: The Hunger And Thirst Which Are Blessed")

via: Kim P. Nejudne

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


If you use twitter, here is a set of great twitter accounts that solely post quotes from the puritan/reformed quotes: (Great Idea, thanks to whoever is behind it)

10 or more other great accounts can be found by going to those links and seeing who they are following. It is neat to know John Calvin is following Johnathan Edwards. I have not seen any accounts for Pighius, I don't guess Calvin is going to follow him.


Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light men to hell.


via: Monergism



By virtue of the believer’s union with Christ, he doth really possess all things. That we know plainly from Scripture. But it may be asked, how [doth] he possess all things? What is he the better for it? How is a true Christian so much richer than other men? To answer this, I’ll tell you what I mean by “possessing all things.” I mean that God three in one, all that he is, and all that he has, and all that he does, all that he has made or done—the whole universe, bodies and spirits, earth and heaven, angels, men and devils, sun moon [and] stars, land and sea, fish and fowls, all the silver and gold, kings and potentates as well as mean men—are as much the Christian’s as the money in his pocket, the clothes he wears, or the house he dwells in, or the victuals he eats; yea more properly his, more advantageously more his, than if he [could] command all those things mentioned to be just in all respects as he pleased at any time, by virtue of the union with Christ; because Christ, who certainly doth thus possess all things, is entirely his: so that he possesses it all, more than a wife the share of the best and dearest husband, more than the hand possesses what the head doth; it is all his.

The universe is [his], only he has not the trouble of managing of it; but Christ, to whom it is no trouble, manages it for him a thousand times as much to his advantage as he could himself if he had the managing of all. Every atom in the universe is managed by Christ so as to be most to the advantage of the Christian, every particle of air or every ray of the sun; so that he in the other world, when he comes to see it, shall sit and enjoy all this vast inheritance with surprising, amazing joy. And how is it possible for a man to possess anything more than so as shall be most to his advantage? And then besides this, the Christian shall have everything managed just according to his will; for his will shall so be lost in the will of God, that he had rather have it according to God’s will than any way in the world. And who would desire to possess all things more than to have all things managed just according to his will? And then besides, he himself shall so use them as to be most to his own advantage in his thoughts and meditations, etc.

Now how is it possible for anyone to possess anything more than to have it managed as much as possible according to his will, as much as possible for his own advantage, and for him himself to use it [as] much as possible according to his advantage? But it is certain, so much shall the true Christian possess all things; ’tis not a probable scheme, but absolutely certain. For we know that all things will be managed so as shall be most agreeable to his will. That can’t be denied, nor that it shall be most for his advantage, and that he himself shall use [it] most to his own advantage. This is the kingdom Christ so often promised—they shall be kings with a witness at this rate! This is the sitting in Christ’s throne and inheriting all things promised to the victors in the Revelation and the like in many other places.

Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 13, The “Miscellanies:” Entry Nos. a–z, aa–zz, 1–500, ed. Thomas A. Schafer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 183-185.



Live as if Christ died yesterday, rose this morning and is coming back tomorrow.

-Martin Luther

(via @Kloveradio)

Monday, July 6, 2009


"Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave".

Martin Luther

RT @60sixbooks


"Whatever we make the most of is our god."

-- Martin Luther

At times, I have I made the most of (and thus idols of):

1. My own blog, FB, twitter.
2. The blog, FB, twitter, of other people.
3. Certain Pastors, Reformed Writers, Theologians, Apologists, Puritans.
4. A sermon, book, sermon notes.
5. A Christian pianist, guitarist.
6. The Desktop, Printer, Laptop, electro-techno gimzos


Ryan Miley posted: "A God with whom we are on…easy terms and whose reality is little different from our own…who is merely there to satisfy our needs – has no real authority to compel and will soon begin to bore us."

- David Wells

My note: This sounds like an intro to a Piper sermon on "Enjoying God forever." It really opens a lot of thought to why we sing corporately? Out of dry duty? Out of pride of theological orthodoxy? Out of empty custom and no thought to the lyrics? Or, with an ecstatic joy in the glory and greatness of God, not that the focus would be "our joy", but that as water by definition includes hydrogen, so to God glorified by definition includes a response of singing with joy. How angry we should be to waste our AM services singing Happy Birthday to one another.

Is this why our prayers lag? We are bored with God? We are bored with praying?
Is this why our witnessing lags? We are bored with God? We are bored with telling of His glory and grace?
is this why private daily worship lags? We are focused on the visible? and otherwise glory in a golfer, being bored with God, and bored with singing to Him;

This quote would be a nice 40 minute sermon of probing to repentance.


God's law is a hammer that smashes our self-righteousness.

- Martin Luther

RT @w0jrm:


"I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels."

"God does not bestow the Spirit on his people in order to set aside the use of his Word, but rather to render it fruitful."

A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth attacked and yet would remain silent.

“There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence”

There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.

Man is never sufficiently touched & affected by the awareness of his lowly state until he has compared himself w/ God's majesty.

"I offer my heart to you, Lord, promptly and sincerely."

"Every one of us is, even from his mother's womb, a master craftsman of idols."

"…believers stand unconquered through the strength of their king, and his spiritual riches abound in them." Institutes 2.15.5

“Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day; set him on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.”

"Ignorance of Providence is the greatest of all miseries, and the knowledge of it the highest happiness."

We must make the invisible kingdom visible in our midst.

I call 'piety' that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his benefits induces.

Let us so adhere to the Word of God that no novelty may captivate us and lead us astray.

- John Calvin

tweet credits: @jmaxim: @arawleigh:@accordanceguy:@akabeardman.@Jdomingo82 @joethorn @graceforums, (and many, many others);

I take the last quote as not only a reference to novelty by wrong teaching, but also novelty by earthly-sight mindedness i.e sports, movies, vacations, suppers, gizmos.


There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.

- John Calvin



Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Spend 20 minutes analyzing this verse in prayer and grace, and also in the context of the preceding 13 verses.

a. the God of hope
b. fill you with
c. all joy
d. and peace
e. in believing,
f. so that by the power of the Holy Spirit
g. you may abound
h. in hope.

Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Christian Skepticism - a reasonable faith...: Unlimited/Limited Atonement

1 Tim 4:10For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. "So
Christ was once offered.": By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here
he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is
sacrificed. On this account are [the words] "was offered." "Was once
offered" (he says) "to bear the sins of many." Why "of many," and not
"of all"? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is
His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction
of all men
. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were
not willing. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.

This is not a contradiction in terms, it is a proposition that fits into God's redemptive plan - that is:

1) Christ's death was of general benefit to all Mankind, in that the guarantee of His sacrifice was the source of our just God extending grace to Adam and not immediately and utterly destroying Man at the Fall or allowing Man, in his own total depravity and slavery to sin, destroy himself- thus Unlimited in application in that sense. "who is the Savior of all people"

2) Christ's death was of specific benefit to the Elect, in whom He, by His grace, has given the gift of faith through the Holy Spirit, resulting in true spiritual and saving belief in Christ. "especially of those who believe"