Immanuel

December 25, 2008

When once I mourned a load of sin;
When conscience felt a wound within;
When all my works were thrown away;
When on my knees I knelt to pray,
Then, blissful hour, remembered well,
I learned Thy love, Immanuel.

When storms of sorrow toss my soul;
When waves of care around me roll;
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee;
When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,
One word the tempest’s rage shall quell–
That word, Thy name, Immanuel.

When for the truth I suffer shame;
When foes pour scandal on my name;
When cruel taunts and jeers abound;
When “Bulls of Bashan” gird me round,
Secure within Thy tower I’ll dwell–
That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel.

When hell enraged lifts up her roar;
When Satan stops my path before;
When fiends rejoice and wait my end;
When legioned hosts their arrows send,
Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell
Thy battle-cry, Immanuel.

When down the hill of life I go;
When o’er my feet death’s waters flow;
When in the deep’ning flood I sink;
When friends stand weeping on the brink,
I’ll mingle with my last farewell
Thy lovely name, Immanuel.

When tears are banished from mine eye;
When fairer worlds than these are nigh;
When heaven shall fill my ravished sight;
When I shall bathe in sweet delight,
One joy all joys shall far excel,
To see Thy face, Immanuel.

-from The Life and Works of Charles H. Spurgeon
(written at age 18)

Heaven on Earth

November 30, 2008

This afternoon, as I watch the snow coming down in sheets this beatiful Sabbath day, I am reading a wonderful book by Thomas Brooks called Heaven on Earth. This book’s primary thesis is the expound upon the Christian doctrine of assurance. Am I really saved? How do I know that I am in Christ? I just started this book, so I do not intend to write much about it just now, but I do wish to impart to you what I have been reading thus far.

Already, Mr. Brooks has set forth several basic reasons for assurance:

  1. Believers may in this life attain unto a well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness.
  2. It is the very scope and end of the Scripture to help believers to a well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness.
  3. Other believers have in an ordinary way attained to a very sweet assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness.
  4. God hath by promise engaged Himself to assure his people of their happiness and blessedness.
  5. There is in all saints the spring of assurance, and therefore they may attain to assurance.
  6. The Holy Spirit exhorts us “to give all diligence to make our calling and election sure” (I Peter 1:10) and presses us to look to the obtaining of full assurance.
  7. The Lord hath, in much mercy and love, propounded in His Word the ways and means whereby believers may obtain a well-grounded assurance of their everlasting happiness and blessedness; and therefore it may be obtained.
  8. It was the principal end of Christ’s institution of the sacrament of the supper that he might assure them of His love, and that he might seal up to them the forgiveness of their sins, the acceptation of their persons, and the salvation of their souls.
  9. Those scriptures that do expressly require saints to be abundant and constant in rejoicing and in praising of God, to have always harps in their hands and hallelujahs in their mouths, do clearly evidence that believers may attain to a well-grounded assurance in this life.
  10. God would never have made such a broad difference in the Scripture between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, between the righteous and the wicked, between saints and sinners, between sons and slaves, sheep and goats, between lions and lambs, between wheat and chaff, light and darkness, etc.

Simply stated, there is no logical reason for any Christian to claim that there is no possibility to attian assurance in Christ. The Scriptures clearly teach that assurance is an inherent part of true Christianity. Unfortunately, many take this too far by saying Once saved, always saved. This may be true, but the problem is that those who use this phrase far too often overlook why we are always saved once we have been saved. We are always saved because God has promised this too us in His Word. (A better way of saying this would be If saved, always saved.)

Tests of Love to God (Part 2)

September 3, 2008

4. Another fruit of love is magnanimity. Love is valorous, it turns cowardice into courage. Love will make one venture upon the greatest difficulties and hazards. The fearful hen will fly upon a dog or serpent to defend her young ones. Love infuses a spirit of gallantry and fortitude into a Christian. He that loves God will stand up in His cause, and be an advocate for Him. ‘We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4.20).He who is afraid to own Christ has but little love to Him. Nicodemus came sneaking to christ by night (John 3.2). He was fearful of being seen with Him is the day-time. Love casts out fear. Read the rest of this entry »

Tests of Love to God

August 27, 2008

I am currently working my way through All Things for Good by Thomas Watson for the Puritan Paperback challenge. I thought that I would include a chapter which I was reading this will span two of three posts, so this is only part one. Read the rest of this entry »

There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer—I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it. But far be it from me even to imagine that Zion contains none but Calvinistic Christians within her walls, or that there are none saved who do not hold our views. Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one “of whom the world was not worthy.” I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see these truths, or, at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of the God of grace as the soundest Calvinist in or out of Heaven. Read the rest of this entry »

 I know there are some who think it necessary to their system of theology to limit the merit of the blood of Jesus: if my theological system needed such a limitation, I would cast it to the winds. I cannot, I dare not allow the thought to find a lodging in my mind, it seems so near akin to blasphemy. In Christ’s finished work I see an ocean of merit; my plummet finds no bottom, my eye discovers no shore. There must be sufficient efficacy in the blood of Christ, if God had so willed it, to have saved not only all in this world, but all in ten thousand worlds, had they transgressed their Maker’s law. Once admit infinity into the matter, and limit is out of the question. Having a Divine Person for an offering, it is not consistent to conceive of limited value; bound and measure are terms inapplicable to the Divine sacrifice. The intent of the Divine purpose fixes the application of the infinite offering, but does not change it into a finite work. Think of the numbers upon whom God has bestowed His grace already. Think of the countless hosts in Heaven: if thou wert introduced there to-day, thou wouldst find it as easy to tell the stars, or the sands of the sea, as to count the multitudes that are before the throne even now. They have come from the East, and from the West, from the North, and from the South, and they are sitting down with Abraham, and with Isaac, and with Jacob in the Kingdom of God; and beside those in Heaven, think of the saved ones on earth. Blessed be God, His elect on earth are to be counted by millions, I believe, and the days are coming, brighter days than these, when there shall be multitudes upon multitudes brought to know the Saviour, and to rejoice in Him. The Father’s love is not for a few only, but for an exceeding great company. “A great multitude, which no man could number,” will be found in Heaven. A man can reckon up to very high figures; set to work your Newtons, your mightiest calculators, and they can count great numbers, but God and God alone can tell the multitude of His redeemed. I believe there will be more in Heaven than in hell. If anyone asks me why I think so, I answer, because Christ, in everything, is to “have the pre-eminence,” and I cannot conceive how He could have the pre-eminence if there are to be more in the dominions of Satan than in Paradise. Moreover, I have never read that there is to be in hell a great multitude, which no man could number. I rejoice to know that the souls of all infants, as soon as they die, speed their way to Paradise. Think what a multitude there is of them! Then there are already in Heaven unnumbered myriads of the spirits of just men made perfect—the redeemed of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues up till now; and there are better times coming, when the religion of Christ shall be universal; when—

“He shall reign from pole to pole,
With illimitable sway;”

when whole kingdoms shall bow down before Him, and nations shall be born in a day, and in the thousand years of the great millennial state there will be enough saved to make up all the deficiencies of the thousands of years that have gone before. Christ shall be Master everywhere, and His praise shall be sounded in every land. Christ shall have the pre-eminence at last; His train shall be far larger than that which shall attend the chariot of the grim monarch of hell.

Some persons love the doctrine of universal atonement because they say, “It is so beautiful. It is a lovely idea that Christ should have died for all men; it commends itself,” they say, “to the instincts of humanity; there is something in it full of joy and beauty.” I admit there is, but beauty may be often associated with falsehood. There is much which I might admire in the theory of universal redemption, but I will just show what the supposition necessarily involves. If Christ on His cross intended to save every man, then He intended to save those who were lost before He died. If the doctrine be true, that He died for all men, then He died for some who were in hell before He came into this world, for doubtless there were even then myriads there who had been cast away because of their sins. Once again, if it was Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood. That seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption. To think that my Saviour died for men who were or are in hell, seems a supposition too horrible for me to entertain. To imagine for a moment that He was the Substitute for all the sons of men, and that God, having first punished the Substitute, afterwards punished the sinners themselves, seems to conflict with all my ideas of Divine justice. That Christ should offer an atonement and satisfaction for the sins of all men, and that afterwards some of those very men should be punished for the sins for which Christ had already atoned, appears to me to be the most monstrous iniquity that could ever have been imputed to Saturn, to Janus, to the goddess of the Thugs, or to the most diabolical heathen deities. God forbid that we should ever think thus of Jehovah, the just and wise and good!

From: Charles SpurgeonA Defense of Calvinism

I apologize for the very large span of time between these posts. Having been alone all week finishing school, I did not have access to my computer nor did I have the time to blog. I am glad I am back and ready to go. Over the last week, my eyes have been opened to several things and I hope to write about them that you may benefit, as soon as this Spurgeon series is complete. Enjoy!

I am bound to the doctrine of the depravity of the human heart, because I find myself depraved in heart, and have daily proofs that in my flesh there dwelleth no good thing. If God enters into covenant with unfallen man, man is so insignificant a creature that it must be an act of gracious condescension on the Lord’s part; but if God enters into covenant with sinful man, he is then so offensive a creature that it must be, on God’s part, an act of pure, free, rich, sovereign grace. When the Lord entered into covenant with me, I am sure that it was all of grace, nothing else but grace. When I remember what a den of unclean beasts and birds my heart was, and how strong was my unrenewed will, how obstinate and rebellious against the sovereignty of the Divine rule, I always feel inclined to take the very lowest room in my Father’s house, and when I enter Heaven, it will be to go among the less than the least of all saints, and with the chief of sinners. Read the rest of this entry »