LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Warrant of Faith - C.H.Spurgeon sermon 531 pt.4

II. The WARRANT OF BELIEVING is the point upon which I shall spend my time and strength this morning. According to my text, the warrant for a man to believe is the commandment of God. This is the commandment, that ye "believe on his Son Jesus Christ."Self-righteousness will always find a lodging somewhere or other. Drive it, my brethren, out of the ground of our confidence; let the sinner see that he cannot rest on his good works, then, as foxes will have holes, this self-righteousness will find a refuge for itself in the warrant of our faith in Christ. It reasons thus: "You are not saved by what you do but by what Christ did; but then, you have no right to trust in Christ unless there is something good in you which shall entitle you to trust in him." Now, this legal reasoning I oppose. I believe such teaching to contain in it the essence of Popish self-righteousness. The warrant for a sinner to believe in Christ is not in himself in any sense or in any manner, but in the fact that he is commanded there and then to believe on Jesus Christ. Some preachers in the Puritanic times, whose shoe latchets I am not worthy to unloose, erred much in this matter. I refer not merely to Alleyne and Baxter, who are far better preachers of the law than of the gospel, but I include men far sounder in the faith than they, such as Rogers of Dedham, Shepherd, the author of "The Sound Believer," and especially the American, Thomas Hooker, who has written a book upon qualifications for coming to Christ. These excellent men had a fear of preaching the gospel to any except those whom they styled "sensible sinners," and consequently kept hundreds of their hearers sitting in darkness when they might have rejoiced in the light. They preached repentance and hatred of sin as the warrant of a sinner's trusting to Christ. According to them, a sinner might reason thus—"I possess such-and-such a degree of sensibility on account of sin, therefore I have a right to trust in Christ." Now, I venture to affirm that such reasoning is seasoned with fatal error. Whoever preaches in this fashion may preach much of the gospel, but the whole gospel of the free grace of God in its fulness he has yet to learn. In our own day certain preachers assure us that a man must he regenerated before we may bid him believe in Jesus Christ; some degree of a work of grace in the heart being, in their judgment, the only warrant to believe. This also is false. It takes away a gospel for sinners and offers us a gospel for saints. It is anything hut a ministry of free grace.Others say that the warrant for a sinner to believe in Christ is his election. Now, as his election cannot possibly be known by any man until he has believed, this is virtually preaching that nobody has any known warrant for believing at all. If I cannot possibly know my election before I believe—and yet the minister tells me that I may only believe upon the ground of my election—how am I ever to believe at all? Election brings me faith, and faith is the evidence of my election; but to say that my faith is to depend upon my knowledge of my election, which I cannot get without faith. is to talk egregious nonsense.I lay down this morning with great boldness—because I know and am well persuaded that what I speak is the mind of the Spirit—this doctrine that the sole and only warrant for a sinner to believe in Jesus is found in the gospel itself and in the command which accompanies that gospel, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."

9 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

"Election brings me faith, and faith is the evidence of my election;..."

November 09, 2006 7:30 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Nate B., at Pulpit Magazine, notes and quotes MacArthure here...

"Does this mean that new believers fully understand all that love for Christ entails at the moment of salvation? No, of course not. As John MacArthur wrote in chapter 12 of The Gospel According to Jesus:

Obviously, a new believer does not fully understand all the ramifications of Jesus’ lordship at the moment of conversion. But every genuine believer has a desire to surrender. This is what distinguishes true faith from a bogus profession: true faith produces a heart that is humble, submissive, and obedient. As spiritual understanding unfolds, that obedience grows deeper, and the genuine believer displays an eagerness to please Christ by abandoning everything to his lordship. This willingness to surrender to divine authority is a driving force in the heart of every true child of the kingdom. It is the inevitable expression of the new nature."

November 09, 2006 8:22 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

More from Nathan Busenitz at Pulpit Magazine, under the recent article on Lordship...

"From the divine side of things (as much as His perspective is revealed to us in Scripture), conversion is the work of God. The sinner’s ability to believe and embrace Christ is the work of God (John 6:29). The fact that the sinner’s stony heart is replaced with a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26), that spiritual death is infused with spiritual life (Eph. 2:1-4), and that spiritual blindness is given sight (2 Cor. 4:4-6) is all the work of God. We can love Him (and others), because He first loved us (1 John 4:10, 19), redeeming us that we might be a people for His own possession, zealous for good works (Titus 2:14)."

November 09, 2006 8:33 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

The Great Heart Changer!

From Spurgeon's, "The Stony Heart Removed"

The heart of the natural man, like marble,
is stone-cold towards spiritual things.

No arguments have power to move a soul so steeled,
so thoroughly stony, hard, and impenetrable.

O rocks of iron and hills of brass,
you are softer than the proud heart of man!

Fallen man is like the deaf adder which will not be charmed,
charm we never so wisely.

Tears are lost on him.

Threatenings are but as the whistlings of the wind.

The preachings of the law, and even of Christ crucified--
all these are null and void and fall hopelessly to the ground,
so long as the man's heart continues what it is by nature--
dead, and hard, and cold.

The heart of man grows harder whether it be the soft sunshine
of love, or the harsh tempest of judgment that falls upon it.

Mercy and love alike make it more solid,
and knit its particles closer together;
and surely until the Omnipotent himself speak the word,
the heart of man grows harder, and harder, and harder,
and refuses to be softened or broken.

Granite may be ground and be broken into pieces,
but unless God gets the hammer in his hand,
and even he must put both hands to it,
the great 'granite heart' of man will not yield in any way.

You may smite a man's heart right and left with death,
with judgment, with mercy, with tears, with entreaties,
with threatenings, and it will not break!

No, even the fires of hell do not melt man's heart,
for the damned in hell grow more hard by their agonies,
and they hate God, and blaspheme him all the more
because of the suffering they endure.

Only Omnipotence itself, I say,
can ever soften this hard heart of man.

Christ is the Great Heart Changer!

"Lord, melt my heart.
None but a bath of blood divine can take the flint away;
but do it Lord, and you shall have the praise."

November 09, 2006 11:45 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Nathan was dishonest in answering some of the challenges from Lou.

These were serious challenges that neither you or Nathan are being honest about and so brother it is hard to hear you all when you speak about hearts being changed.I know what you are saying and I believe you have a new heart but many in your camp are acting hypocritically when talking about the other hypocrites. Please consider this...but I grow tired of these political games and posturing that is being played in these camps. Why not come back out of this mindset brother. It wedges one in and sears the conscience when confronted with true biblical challenges.

November 09, 2006 5:51 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Brian,
Nate put the ream, steam and dry clean on Lou and he did it using massive amounts of Scripture references. Lou's problem as Nate pointed out is a hatred of Calvinism and Lou has shown that he does not even understand the Calvinism that he hates.

Quite frankly Lou has proven that he is out of his league in his attempt to debate Nate and the writers of the series on repentance. In spite of this, Nate has been extremely respectful of Lou throughout the whole debate. The only dishonesty I saw was how Nate out of Christian charity refrained from totally embarrassing Lou's effort of debating and writing his book.

W.H.

November 10, 2006 12:04 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

"These were serious challenges that neither you or Nathan are being honest about..."

State those challenges, please.

November 10, 2006 8:59 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

"political games"?

Brian, who the heck would I be wanting to impress? I do not wish to impress anyone. What I post are expressions of what I believe. A person can either like it or lump it. You can judge my motives all you like, whatever floats your pompous boat.

The ideas you hold are inspired by fairly recent theological innovations. Zane Hodges and company are on an island by themselves. History has very few, if any, that teach what he does. Even Ryrie does not hold his views on James 2. Almost all of Hodges' contemporaries are critical of his views as well. The GES is a sect at best. If you wish to judge my positions using their standards, fine. I'll just consider the source.

November 10, 2006 10:24 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Jazzy and Mark?

He loves you as a mother loves her new born child. Delight in that love today.

Did you know that in battle men cry out for their mothers when they are dying?

November 10, 2006 8:42 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home