Posts Tagged ‘The Gospel’

Here’s some more good stuff from Walter Marshall on the powerlessness of the unregenerate, gospel-less man:

We are alll by nature, void of strength and ability to perform acceptably that holiness and righteousness which the law requireth, and are dead in trespasses and sins, and children of wrath, by the sin of our first father, Adam… This doctrine of original sin, which Protestants generally profess, is a firm basis and ground-work to the assertion now to be proved, and to many other assertions in this whole discourse. If we believe it to be true, we cannot rationally encourage ourselves to attempt an holy practice, until we are acquanted with some powerful and effectual means to enable us to do it. While man continued upright, in the image of God, as he was first created, he could do the will of God sincerely, as soon as he knew it; but, when he was fallen, he was quickly afraid, because of his nakedness; but could not help it at all, until God discovered to him the means of restoration (Gen 3:10,15). Say to a strong healthy servant, Go, and he goeth; Come, and he cometh; Do this, and he doth it: but a bed-ridden servant must know first how he may be enabled.”

It is the Gospel that frees us, that regenerates, justifies, sanctifies and glorifies us. Apart from the gospel there is no power to perform the acts of holiness which God requires us to fulfill. “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” – Galatians 2:21

One of the gravest mistakes of the church today and throughout the ages is the command to fulfill the command of God without giving the means to do so. Even as God gave the law through Moses to his people he gave them the means through the Gospel. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Exodus 20:2. Here we see both the Gospel, and the helplessness of their state. God rescues them from slavery, and then proceeds to call them to holiness. Oh, how often do we forget the means to to the end.

Marshall says once again in his book The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification:

Men show themselves strangely forgetful, or hypocritical, in professing original sin in their prayers, catechisms, and confessions of faith; and yet urging upon themselves and others the practice of the law, without the consideration of any strengthening, enlivening means; as if there were no want of ability, but only of activity.”

May we continually feed on the means of grace.

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ThegospelmysteryA new book that I started reading is The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification by puritain Walter Marshall. I picked it up thinking that any book dealing with the subject of sanctification¬† powered by the Gospel must be a keeper. Of course I haven’t been disappointed in my expectations though I am still just in the introduction. The book is divided into 14 different directions to the reader focusing on the sanctification through our unity to Christ.

Here’s a quote from his 7th direction as he lays down the foundation:

We are not to imagine that our hearts and lives be changed from sin to holiness in any measure, before we may safely venture to trust on Christ for the sure enjoyment of Himself, and His salvation.”

He continues on explaining:

To try to make ourselves fit for Christ is to be led away from Christ by a satanic delusion.”

Indeed we are not saved by our repentance or our good works. Those are the overflow of faith; The free gift of God. We simply come as broken sinners. Joel Beeke adds on in his Introduction to Marshall’s work:

Such people become spiritually distressed when they think they must have more love for God, more godliness of heart, more thoughts of God’s attributes, more victory over lusts, more cleansing of their hearts, more impressions of the wrath of God, more confession of sin, and more heart-felt prayer and praise before they trust in Christ for their salvation. Such erroneous ideas only keep people away from Christ.”

and again Marshall says:

While we endeavor to prepare our way to Christ by holy qualifications, we do ratheer fill it with stumbling blocks, and deep pits, whereby our souls are hindered from ever attaining to salvation of Christ.”

We cannot be sanctified before we are justified, for sanctification comes as we are united to Christ. Come to Christ broken as that taxcollector did, who would not dare raise his eyes to the heavens but beat his breast and cried out for mercy. I tell you, this man went to his house justified.

J. C. Hahne

GodisthegospelI’ve picked up Piper’s God is the Gospel once again and thought that I’d share a quote about the aim of the Gospel. It really made me think and I’m starting to agree more and more that God IS the Gospel. SO here’s the quote:

The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure.”

So I was thinking about the quote and came to realise that if this isn’t the ultimate aim of the gospel then any other aim would make us idolaters. If it’s chief aim is to make us feel better about ourselves, or just pain free in heaven, or maybe to get a new and improved body one day, then we are falling short of the ultimate treasure. If we are treasuring something else above God and His glory than the Gospel is no good news. The good news is that we can enjoy the greatest thing in the universe; that is God himself. God has redeemed us to Himself and for Himself and this is indeed the good news!

J. C. Hahne

Here’s a scary bur realistic quote for us all… Chew on it and go to God in repentance.

The true dimensions of a soul are seen in its delights. Not what we dutifully will but what we passionately want reveals our excellence or evil.”

– John Piper, The Pleasures of God

As I read this, I found even more that I must be totally dependent upon the gospel  for every good work that might flow from my soul. Jesus is Beautiful! Truely beautiful!!! And we are His! We are new creations in Him. As we consider His sacrifice for us may we be filled with delight to proclaim his excellencies. That His name may be exalted in this fallen world.

Yesterday I quoted the book “Worldliness” concerning the fact that the church today is wounded and weak, struggling to separate itself from the worlds ways. Yes many times you can’t even tell the difference between a so-called Christian and the rest of the world. We are called as God’s redeemed people to abstain from the fleshly lusts that war against us. We are called to crucify the flesh. We are called to sanctified lives; set apart in holiness toward God Almighty. So how should the church fight, and thus fulfill its call? What is the remedy? The Cross of Christ ! The Gospel of Jesus Christ!

I will quote once again C. J. Mahaney who in turn quotes John Owen.

“If you want to begin¬† immediately to weaken the influence of worldliness in your life, take the sound advice from the great physician of the soul, John Owen:

owen1‘When someone sets his affections upon the cross and the love of Christ, he crucifies the world as a dead and undesirable thing. The baits of sin lose their attraction and disappear. Fill your affections with the cross of Christ and you will find no room for sin'”

This is what every Christian must decide in his heart to do daily. To fill his affections with the cross of Christ. Doing this will crucify the cares of this world. In and of ourselves it is impossible but as Phil 4:13 says, “I can do all things through HIM who strengthens me.”


Mark Dever on the Gospel

Mark Dever on the Gift of Evangelism

Mark Dever on the Motive of Doing Evangelism