Posts Tagged ‘Doctrine’

A new friend of mine recommended that I read Calvin’s “The Necessity of Reforming the Church”. So, I am slowing going through it, reading and re-reading. Honestly it’s been a while since I picked up something that is so weighty, thus I see my need to retrain my attention span (or maybe it’s just that I’m reading at 12:30 AM). Anyway, there are some great quotes, and though I haven’t gotten too far into his appeal, I have been encouraged and am delighting in the doctrines of grace; the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Just thought I’d share a paragraph or two with you all… It really does produce a humble heart, thankfulness, and assurance which leads to true worship unto God.

Now, the knowledge of our salvation presents three different stages. First, we must begin with a sense of individual wretchedness, filling us with despondency as if we were spiritually dead. This effect is produced when the original and hereditary depravity of our nature is set before us as the source of all evilĀ  a depravity which begets in us distrust, rebellion against God, pride, avarice, lust, and all kinds of evil concupiscence; and making us averse to all rectitude and justice, [it] holds us captive under the yoke of sin; and when, moreover, each individual, on the disclosure of his own sins, feeling confounded at his turpitude, is forced to be dissatisfied with himself, and to account himself and all that he has of his own as less than nothing; then, on the other hand, conscience (being cited to the bar of God) becomes sensible of the curse under which it lies, and, as if it had received a warning of eternal death, learns to tremble at the divine anger. This, I say, is the first stage in the way to salvation, when the sinner, overwhelmed and prostrated, despairs of all carnal aid, yet does not harden himself against the justice of God, or become stupidly callous, but, trembling and anxious, groans in agony, and sighs for relief.

From this he should rise to the second stage. This he does when, animated by the knowledge of Christ, he again begins to breathe. For to one humbled in the manner in which we have described, no other course remains but to turn to Christ, that through his interposition he may be delivered from misery. But the only man who thus seeks salvation in Christ is the man who is aware of the extent of his power: that is, acknowledges him as the only priest who reconciles us to the Father, and his death as the only sacrifice by which sin is expiated, the divine justice satisfied, and a true and perfect righteousness acquired; who, in fine, does not divide the work between himself and Christ, but acknowledges it to be by mere gratuitous favor that he is justified in the sight of God. From this stage also he must rise to the third, when instructed in the grace of Christ, and in the fruits of his death and resurrection, he rests in him with firm and solid confidence, feeling assured that Christ is so completely his own, that he possesses in him righteousness and life.”

Chew on that a few times. Praise be to Him who has overcome!

So last night I picked up a collection of C. S. Lewis’ writings that I’ve had for approximately 200,000 years… (give or take a year or so)… Anyway, I thought that I’d share a paragraph from The Buisness of Heaven that made me think a little bit.

“The Theologians Danger”

“There have been men… who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing of God Himself… as if the good Lord had nothing better to do but exist! There have been some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ. Man! Ye see it in smaller matters. Did ye never know a lover of books that with all his first editions and signed copies had lost the power to read them? An organizer of charities that had lost all love for the poor? It is the subtlest of all snares.” – C. S. Lewis

Oh how true it is that we can become lovers of theology, doctrine etc. and become so wrapped up in our ideas and systems that we lose our love for God and the pleasure of understanding Him. Of course I am not saying to stop studying the great truths of Scripture. God forbid! But we must beware of falling into this danger of which Lewis speaks.

O God, amaze us daily with Your grace. May we grow in our love for You and those around us. Truly Your mercies are new every morning. Great is your Faithfulness O Lord! Satisfy us by revealing Yourself to us more and more. Amen.

J. C. Hahne

A.W. Pink said, “An unknown God can neither be trusted, served, nor worshipped.” This is an excellent quote from the preface of Pink’s book “The Attributes of God.”

Doctrine and theology are not just for the preacher. They must be studied by every one of Christ’s people. He who does not know God as Sovereign, Almighty, Immutable, Omniscient, Righteous, Just, etc… will in no means be capable of trusting, serving and worshiping Him. Our chief end is to glorify and enjoy God forever, but how can we enjoy Him if we don’t know Him correctly?

“…the people that do know their God shall be strong.”Daniel 11:32

J. C. Hahne