Aug 29, 2010

The Moral Preacher - Robert Hawker

"The Moral Preacher

He took his text from the prophecies of Micah, chap 6 ver. 8. "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you—but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" I felt much pleasure in the very idea of the subject proposed from this text of scripture, the moment it was mentioned; and therefore listened with the more attention, in order to discover some leading points, which might be brought forward to give me comfort. The substance of the preacher's sermon, when separated from the flowery ornaments of it, was directed to show that the path to happiness was set before everyone; that God had shown man what was good; and that it was man's own fault if he did not follow it; that what the Lord required was nothing harsh, or unreasonable, or difficult; but the plain, easy, self-rewarding virtues of moral obligation; and that, if, in addition to the line of doing justly, the circumstances favored the love of mercy, in relieving the needs of the wretched, where ability reached, and dropping over them the tear of sympathy where it did not, and instead of studying to be wise above what is written, respecting divine things, to walk humbly with God—these made up the sum and substance of all moral and religious concerns.

The unconscious babe watched over - Robert Hawker

"...but for the grace of preservation in Jesus Christ, there never could have been a calling to Jesus Christ. Calculate, if you can, how long a space you lived, unconscious of your state, "without God and without Christ in the world"—and had you been cut off in the awful state of an unawakened, unregenerated mind, where would have been your portion? And were there no seasons of peculiar peril, no sickness, no intemperance, no hair-breadth escapes, in which life hung as by a thread over an hopeless eternity? Oh! the countless instances of preservation in Christ Jesus, before the redeemed of the Lord are brought to the apprehension of divine things which are of Christ Jesus! Have you never seen the unconscious babe watched over, in all its helpless, defenseless hours, by the sedulous tenderness and care of its anxious parent? Such, and infinitely higher, must be his preservation of his people, who not only watches over them "every moment, lest any hurt them," (Isaiah 27:3.) but, what peculiarly endears his loving-kindness to the heart, he watches over them for good, in those moments also, in the days of their unregeneracy, when they are "making Him to serve with their sins, and wearying Him with their iniquities." (Isaiah 43:24.)" - Robert Hawker

Aug 11, 2010

Mark 16:16, John 3:36 - John Foreman

A gospel damnation I have never yet been able to understand; I have at no time been brought to fear it from any conviction, or to know anything of such a point as taught by the word of God. And so for any man to be damned to hell for not believing unto salvation, the very idea appears to me to be as silly as it is false and cruel; because it conceals and denies the just cause of sinning man's condemnation, and condemns him to death without real cause; that is, not for disobedient law-breaking, but for not obtaining favor by means that God himself never put in natural man's power. I know it is written, 'He that believeth not, shall be damned,' Mark 16: 16; but the gospel does not bring that condemnation upon the unbeliever; not does the lack of faith, or the non-believing of the gospel unto salvation, create, make, cause, or bring that damnation; but leave the soul under it, as by law for sin, denounced upon every sinner., as death's sentence by law is passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. But as it is the Lord's pleasure to deliver, and save from the wrath, death, curse, and damnation denounced by the law, all on whom he will have mercy, the believing soul through grace, according to the assurances and descriptions of the word of God, is the escaping, saved, and delivered person, from the denounced condemnation; while the unbeliever remains under the death sentence of the law, as though there had been no mercy nor salvation in Christ for any. And so we read, 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that beleveth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him, John 3: 36. 'We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death,' 1 John 3: 14. And therefore, the turning of the gospel of the grace of God into a penal ministry, is of the pharisaic spirit of anti-Christ, and of the devil himself in that character. Because, by that notion, both the law and the gospel are robbed of their real, distinct, and respective honors; and the state of sinful man is misrepresented, for that instead of his being shewn up in truth as he is, a divine law breaker, and upon whom, as such, the sentence of death by the law is already passed, and that he is a dead man in law, and must remain so to endless condemnation, but as the Lord, by his grace and mercy, may be pleased to deliver and save him, he is made out to be a gospel sinner only, for not possessing the grace of a gospel-blest character, and because he does not without ever having had the power in his nature to do so, or any promise from the Lord of any such favor, believe unto salvation, whether the Lord has purposed it, and will save him, or not.

Aug 9, 2010

Divine Energy by John Skepp

Read Divine Energy Here

An unscriptural relationship - the Committee of the Gospel Standard Societies

Statement from the Committee of the Gospel Standard Societies.

“We affirm that the marriage bond is only broken in God’s sight by death, and that any other dissolution of the tie is unscriptural and is not countenanced by God.”

“We further affirm that to admit to the ordinances of God’s house those who are living in an unscriptural relationship is to act contrary to God’s revealed will and should not be allowed in our churches.”

(Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12; Luke 16:18; Romans 7:1-3).


Set your affections on things above - J.C. Philpot

(J. C. Philpot, "Spiritual Convictions & Heavenly Affections")

"Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth." Col. 3:2

Naturally we have no affection for anything else.

There is no such thing as a spiritual desire or a heavenly affection in our soul, when we are in a state of unregeneracy. So fallen are we that we love, and cannot but love the world, and the things of the world. We have no heart for anything but the things of time and sense. No, rather, as our carnal mind is enmity against God, we hate everything which is spiritual, heavenly, and holy.

One main part, therefore, of the work of God upon the soul, is to take off our affections from these earthly things--and to fix them upon Jesus where He sits enthroned above--that we may love and hate those same things which He loves and hates.

Our affections are not to be set upon things on the earth. Business, worldly cares, the interests of our family, the things of time and sense--in whatever form they come, whatever shape they may assume, must not so entwine themselves around our affections as to bind them down to the earth.

We may use them for the support and sustentation of our life--but we must not abuse them. We are not to set our affections on them!

all these earthly things we are not to set our affections on--so that they become idols. Thus any lovely object may be foul--because turned to an idol.

It may be but a flower--and yet be an idol.

It may be a darling child whom everybody admires for its beauty and attractiveness--yet it may be a defiling idol.

A cherished project may be an idol.

A crop of wheat,
a flock of sheep,
a good farm,
a thriving business,
the respect of the world,
may all be defiling idols--for all these things, when eagerly pursued and loved, draw the soul away from God, and by drawing it insensibly from Him, bring pollution and guilt into the conscience.

Now we are, or by grace in due time shall be, weaned and divorced from earth with all its charms and pleasures and all its polluting idols.

"Dear children, keep yourselves from idols!" 1 John 5:21

"I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols!" Ezekiel 36:25

Strangers in the world - J.C. Philpot

(J. C. Philpot, "The Precious Trial of Faith", 1865)

"To God's elect, strangers in the world." 1 Peter 1:1


What makes the children of God so strange?

The grace of God which calls them out of this wretched world. Every man who carries the grace of God in his bosom is necessarily, as regards the world, a stranger in heart, as well as in profession, and life.

As Abraham was a stranger in the land of Canaan; as Joseph was a stranger in the palace of Pharaoh; as Moses was a stranger in the land of Egypt; as Daniel was a stranger in the court of Babylon; so every child of God is separated by grace, to be a stranger in this ungodly world.

And if indeed we are to come out from it and to be separate, the world must be as much a strange place to us; for we are strangers to...
its views,
its thoughts,
its desires,
its prospects,
its anticipations,
in our daily walk,
in our speech,
in our mind,
in our spirit,
in our judgment,
in our affections.

We will be strangers from...
the world's company,
the world's maxims,
the world's fashions,
the world's spirit.

"They confessed that they were strangers
and pilgrims on the earth." Hebrews 11:13

Aug 4, 2010

"The human race are included in the Covenant of Grace" - Engelsma and Neonomianism

The following quotes are from a discussion between George Ella and David Engelsma. The article with these quotes can be found HERE

“The specific issue that needs to be addressed is this, namely: Does “faith” as a condition of instrumentality and legal demand negates or compromises the Calvinistic doctrine of total depravity and sovereign particular and irresistible grace?”

“The answer is no. The legal demand of God is made known in the Ten Commandments. The sum total of the Law as epitomised by the Ten Commandments is a) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart and strength; and b) Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

“The sum total of the Law is the essence of the Covenant which is fellowship between persons who are in a relationship. Therefore, the Law is encompassed by the Covenant as it is part of the Covenant of Grace. Since by nature all men are Covenant-breakers, the human race are included in the Covenant of Grace and are legally bound to it with threats of punishments and curses for non-performance. And the standard is that of perfection.”

This is neonomianism and the leaven which is the foundation of the federal vision movement. This quote implies justification by a new law which curses and blesses based on your faithfulness to obey.

Aug 3, 2010

Such a religion is neither law nor Gospel - Robert Hawker

"Reader! I beseech you to pause, again and again, over the
important subject; for it is important. To talk of the sincerity
of the heart in a man's best endeavors, when God, the
searcher of hearts, declares, that the heart is deceitful above
all things, and desperately wicked; and that none but Himself
can know it: Jeremiah 17:9. To talk of suspending the grace
of God, and the merits of Christ in redemption, upon the
endeavors of man; leaving the event at a peradventure,
whether God’s grace, or man's will, shall triumph: these
things are not simply rendering matters uncertain; but totally
making the whole blessings of the Gospel ineffectual. And, to
call this another gospel, is a false name, as the Apostle saith;
for it is no gospel at all. And, though the advocates of such
doctrine, put Christ at the head of it, and seem to pay him the
compliment, of calling him Savior, while robbing him of his
glory, in not allowing him to be wholly so; yet such a religion
is neither law nor Gospel, nor can it lay claim to either. It is
not law, for the law pronounceth a curse upon every one that
continueth not in all things which are written in the book of
the law to do them. See Deuteronomy 27:26. Galatians 3:10.
James 2:10. And it is not gospel, for the Gospel saith, that by
grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it
is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.
Ephesians 2:8, 9. And very certain it is, according to Scripture
testimony, that as to law, all the world is become guilty
before God. Romans 3:19, And, but for Christ’s interposition,
in redeeming from the curse of the law, every mouth must be
stopped. For, as the Apostle in this same Epistle saith; if
righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Galatians 2:21." -Robert Hawker on Galatians 1

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 - Robert Hawker now, during the time-state of the Church upon the earth, and the time-state of every individual of the Church, this is the accepted time, and the day of salvation; in which GOD the FATHER’S everlasting love, in the choice of each child of GOD in CHRIST, is proved: an interest, and union, and oneness with CHRIST, as CHRIST, is discovered; and the quickening, regenerating, renewing, and sealing grace of GOD the HOLY GHOST, is felt, and enjoyed; when the LORD by his sovereignty, makes the souls of the redeemed willing, in the day of his power. And this now, the Apostle speaks of, and dwells upon, is not a limited now, as some, to their own souls distresses, and to the distresses of others, have supposed, as if a poor sinner's receiving grace depended upon his receiving it now, which may be refused to him tomorrow: which would be making GOD’S grace depend upon man's will; and the Omnipmency of the LORD rest, for accomplishment, upon the sovereign pleasure of man. But the now the Apostle speaks of, is a now, which to the Church at large, continues, as long as the world shall continue; and to every individual of the Church, as long as that individual shall continue in his present time state. For it must remain, until all the redeemed, for whom CHRIST died, are brought in. All that the FATHER giveth me, said JESUS, shall come to me, John 6:37. And the accepted time is not the time of man's appointing, but the LORD’S. The now of GOD, is the day, when GOD makes willing, Psalm 110:3.

Aug 2, 2010


At Brighton, Thursday Evening, June 27th, 1844
"Out of weakness were made strong." (Hebrews 11:34)
In the first verse of this chapter Paul says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." There are blessed things to be hoped for; but there is a dead faith which contains nothing of this substance. James says that, "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:26) If faith be nothing more than an assent and consent, or an antinomian confidence, it is dead. This is a presumptuous confidence which does not realize Christ's intercession. It never brings us out of the world or out of ourselves, or as poor sinners to Christ. Thousands have this dry faith, that does not work by love. This no better than the faith of devils, for they believe and tremble, and that is more than many do. "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children shall have a place of refuge." (Proverbs 14:26)


"They are all adulterers, as an oven heated by the baker, who ceaseth from raising after he hath kneaded the dough, until it be leavened." (Hosea 7:4)

The Prophet, in this chapter, is leveling the artillery of heaven against Ephraim and Israel, who were the professing people of God: the principal sins he charged them with, were falsehood, and adultery. But, by the hand of God, in discoursing from these words, I mean to aim at Arminianism; for I am sure it is a subtle, awful, and abounding error; and those who embrace it are, like Ephraim and Israel, compassing the Lord about with lies and deceit; (Hos. 11:12) and are children of falsehood, deceiving themselves, their thousands, and ten thousands. But, before I enter upon my subject, I solemnly declare, that in explaining this text as applicable to the Arminians, I have no personal enmity against any one of them upon the face of the earth: their principles I do, and hope, through grace, I ever shall abhor; being fully persuaded, that they are extremely dishonorable to God, and destructive to the souls of men. I know that every person whom God sends to preach his everlasting gospel, will be a savor of death unto death, to all who reject his testimony; and a savor of life unto life, (2 Cor. 2:16) to all who are ordained to eternal life, and enabled, through grace, to believe, receive, experience, and love the truth and peace. The excellency of this power is alone of God, to whom I leave the effects of this discourse.



The Gospel is Not an Offer by Gery Schmidt

Providence Strict Baptist Assembly

The following article is taken from a free publication called Content for the Faith by Providence Strict Baptist Assembly in Canada. It is somewhat controversial but we believe it is a message that needs to be sounded in Christendom today. With all the carnal flesh pleasing methods of evangelism used today this message is ever so important. Anyone wishing to get on their mailing list can do so by contacting Gery or Mike Schmidt at 104-1138 Yates Street Victoria British Columbia Canada V8V 3M8. MK

Acts 3:19 - James Wells



Preached on Sunday Morning, December 9th, 1866 at the New Surrey Tabernacle, Wansey St.
" Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3:19)

THERE are various kinds of repentances spoken of in the word of God. There is the repentance of desperation. Cain repented with this kind of repentance, but his repentance did not bring him to God, but led him out from the presence of the Lord. "From thy face shall I be hid." So Esau also repented with the repentance of desperation, and it led him to try to destroy his brother Jacob; he made up his mind to be a murderer. That is the repentance of desperation. Ahithophel also had this kind of repentance. When he saw that his counsel against David was not followed, and saw that David was sure ultimately to prevail, he repented, went and hanged himself. And this kind of repentance was the repentance of Judas, when he saw what would follow; he repented, and went and hanged himself. So this repentance of desperation is a dreadful thing. This is one of the repentances spoken of in the word of God, and I am sure the Lord never exhorts people to this kind of repentance. Then, secondly, there is the repentance of reformation; such as was brought about by the preaching of Jonah at Nineveh, and such as was brought about in the mind of king Ahab when Elijah reproved him; he humbled himself, and the Lord deferred the judgment. And so many more instances we might name of this. Indeed, the repentance of reformation is one of the privileges of men, for when a man repents with the repentance of reformation, God accepts it of that man as the homage of the creature, and will favor that man according to the repentance wherewith he has repented. But we must not call that religion; we must not call that grace; we must not call that that repentance that is spoken of in our text. See how the Lord favored Ahab, and see how the Lord favored the Ninevites. And if the Saviour's miracles had been wrought in the ancient cities of the plain, they would have repented with the repentance of reformation. And if the Jews had done as they were exhorted in the onset of John's ministry, and in the onset of the Saviour's ministry-for they both commenced their ministry thus, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;"-if they had repented with this repentance of reformation, why, their city and their land might have remained unto this day. But they did not repent, but rather went on further and further, waxing worse and worse, until they completed their murderous enmity and their sin in doing as they did. But then there is another repentance, a repentance which the Lord alone can give. Hence

Jesus Christ is "exalted a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and remission of sins." And the persons who in our text are exhorted to repent and be converted are regenerated persons. Our text does not exhort unregenerate men to repent, because the repentance spoken of is connected with conversion, and with remission of sin, an with the approving and refreshing presence of the Lord, and the person here exhorted are already regenerated. The apostle Paul, in his address to the Athenians, saith, alluding to the superstitions by which people were deluded, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30) But then what kind of a commandment is that? That is the question. Mark, it is put in the present tense-"commandeth." How did he command Saul of Tarsus to repent? Why, say you, effectually. So he does now. "All men,"-all nations, all classes of men; where he sends the command into the soul the work is done. That command is a self-acting command, a self-sufficient command. "The dead shall hear," which is the same thing in substance, though the words are different. "The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and live." (John 5:25) And did the Saviour ever say to one man, "Follow me," and that man did not follow? Certainly not. It mattered not whether they were fishing in the sea, sitting at the receipt of custom, or in the sycamore tree; wherever they were, when the great command came by his eternal deity-though only his manhood was seen, and human voice heard, deity was in it,-"Follow me;" the soul came from death to life, the man was turned towards the Saviour, became a follower of him, and every one such is now in heaven. The commanding all men there is simply all classes of men, all orders of men, and all nations of men; and where he gives the command the work is done.

First, then, I have to point out the character thus exhorted. Secondly the meaning of the repentance and conversion here spoken of Thirdly, the great purpose,-"that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord."

First, then, the character thus exhorted. Now in this chapter we have an account of the lame man being healed, which miracle drew the attention of the people to the apostle Peter. Peter then addresses the people in a way I shall carefully notice, because what he says to them is very interesting, and belongs to us. And that discourse was the means of bringing their souls into life, and as soon as ever the apostle Peter saw that their souls were brought into spiritual life, that they were quickened; he immediately changed his tone of address, and spoke to them in accordance with the life that was now in their souls. Now his address was this; first, you find the apostle Peter put in his address God, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus Christ together. This would be wonderfully convincing to the Jews, where, of course, the Lord was pleased to open their eyes. Why, the Jew would say to himself, is Jesus Christ one with, Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob? Did Abraham know anything of Jesus Christ? And is it a truth that this Jesus Christ is God's Son? Why, then we are not Abraham's children; why, then, after all, we shall not go to heaven, where Abraham is, and where Isaac and Jacob are. What! had these patriarchs anything to do with this person we have crucified? Was this God's own Son? Why, this cuts us off altogether; this confuses and seems to condemn us altogether. What! did Abraham see his day? He did. Did Isaac see the Saviour's day? He did; for Isaac himself was a child of promise, and Isaac was taught to know that: that promise was to be confirmed and carried out by a substitute; and Isaac had had an experience in his life that would enlighten his mind upon this, for he was bound hand and foot, and even laid upon the wood, and the knife was ready to slay him. He had asked his father, "Where is the lamb?" and now the Lord made a provision, providing a substitute for Isaac, and Isaac was set free. He would then see that this pointed to the great substitute, Christ Jesus. Jacob would see the mystic ladder, which is Christ Jesus. Now the Jews who listened to Peter would say, Why, this condemns us altogether, because we know that God was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and if they looked to this person for salvation, and we have crucified him, then to all intents and purposes we are lost. If this person be the Son of God, then what an awful crime we have committed! what an awful state we are in! Now this darted into the minds of those where the Lord was pleased to direct the arrow for he directs the arrows: "Thine arrows are sharp in the hearts of the king's enemies;" (Ps. 45:5)-and this would have a tendency to enlighten them.

Then the second thing in Peter's address was a contrast between them and God, a further contrast. Already here is a contrast, and contrasts are very instructive. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob looked to this person for salvation, and you crucified him. It is God's own Son that you have dealt with as though he were a malefactor. "Ye denied the Holy One and the Just." How would that again have a tendency to convince them! Of course Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would not look for eternal salvation by one that was not holy and was not just. Now, saith Peter, "Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you, and killed the Prince of life." Have we done that? What we must have been! how Satanized we must have been! what a state we are in! It would all have a tendency to convince them of this. Then comes another point, Whom God hath raised from the dead. Is that true? Has God raised him from the dead? Oh, then, what must be the slumbering elements of his almighty wrath against such blind wretches as we are! We crucified him in the most ignominious way, and thought we had put an end to him. What! has God raised him from the dead? If that be true, and we have done this great crime, surely the lowest hell will be our destiny, and wrath the most tremendous must come upon such wretches as we are, vile as we are. Have we done this? But while I thus speak of them, let us not forget that we are no better by nature than they were. Do not let us meet here to talk of the ancients as though they were such enormous sinners in comparison with ourselves, but let us take them in their worst condition as a picture of our own heart, of our own nature, and of our own state; and while we dwell upon their convictions let us bless God that we have a corresponding conviction of our sinnership, and that we prize his mercy so richly manifested unto us. Go a little farther. Now you know that man was lame from his birth. Yes; everybody knows it, for he used to sit at the gate of the temple called Beautiful; everybody knows it, we cannot deny it. Now there he is; look at him. Yes;-we have seen him walking, leaping, skipping about. Well, now, be it known unto you that it is in the name of this very Jesus Christ whom you have crucified, in the name of this very gospel that you have put from you, that this man standeth before you whole. It darted conviction into their minds, and Peter saw that they were alive from the dead, and turns round and begins to sympathize: "And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled." I thus take it that these persons were brought into spiritual life, and now they are exhorted to repent and be converted. I know what you will say. You will say, Well, I do not see that you have proved that they were born of God; I do not see that you have proved that they were quickened from the dead, and as you have not proved that, you have not proved that they were not dead sinners exhorted to repent with a saving repentance. Very well. Now go to the last two verses of this chapter, and hear the definition there that puts the matter beyond all dispute: "Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham"-God made two covenants with Abraham, and these are the children of the covenant, mark that,-"the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with Abraham." Now in the 7th verse of the 12th of Genesis we read that the Lord made a temporal covenant with Abraham: "And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land and there builded he an altar unto the Lord." Is that the covenant because, if so, all Jews were the children of that covenant; and that the Jews knew, boasted of, rested in, and there they stopped. But mark, just mark it, and you that love the truth, and glory in knowing it, see how particular the apostle Peter is. He points us, not to the 7th verse of the, 12th of Genesis, but to the 3rd verse of the 12th of Genesis. He points us, not to the temporal covenant, that God gave the Jews a particular land, but he points us to another covenant, saying unto Abraham, "In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed." Come to the, New Testament; see Peter bringing in the Gentiles at Caesarea; see the apostles preaching unto the ends of the earth. Ye are the children of this spiritual covenant, this eternal covenant, this everlasting covenant, sealed by the blood that you have shed, sealed by the Testator of this covenant, now risen from the dead; ye are the children of that same covenant.-Is not this a proof that they were alive from the dead, or else he could not have pronounced them to be the children of the new covenant? Dr. Pusey tells us, in a letter recently, that he has never refused absolution to any one. Does Dr. Pusey pronounce absolution in this way when he sees a soul is brought into the new covenant, that covenant ordered in all things and sure, and that that soul thereby gives evidence of its being born of God? Is it on this ground that the Doctor pronounces absolution? If so, I will join with him. But I do not think it is. I do not much think the Doctor knows anything of this covenant. I do not think so. But every man will be damned that does not, for there is no salvation out of the new covenant; there is no salvation apart from the blood of the everlasting covenant. "This is my blood of the new covenant."

Here, then, these persons were alive from the dead, and their solemn inquiry, though not recorded, fairly implied the same inquiry that is recorded in the preceding chapter, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Why, "repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;" "Unto you first"-that is another proof-"God, having raised up his Son Jesus"-Christ was not raised from the dead unto any but his own; he was not seen by a soul after his resurrection but by his own disciples. "Unto you"-he is your resurrection, he died for your sins, he is risen as your resurrection,-"unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you." How do you know that, Peter? Why, because they are convinced of the emptiness of the old covenant; they are convinced of that; they are convinced now of the truth; they are led into the new covenant. If God had intended their destruction, they would never have been thus awakened and thus concerned. Therefore, he "sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." Now, mark, watch me narrowly, "in turning away every one of you." Ah, what, "every one"? Every one that was convinced of his sin, every one that was convinced of the iniquitous system by which, they had crucified the Saviour. Now just compare that scripture; with two more,-"to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." Now take the 21st verse of the lst chapter of Matthew: "Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." So, then,-if they had not been his people they would not have been convinced by Peter's discourse or by any other means; they would not have been thus brought into the new covenant. Then take another scripture, 11th of Romans: "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come-mark this, unto Israel-"out of Sion the Deliverer, and sha1l turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." How did God take our sins away? By imputing them to his dear Son. And how did Jesus Christ take them away? By the sacrifice of himself. And how did the Holy Ghost take them away? By bringing in Jesus Christ to our souls, and giving us the victory through the blood of the Lamb, and enabling us to sing as we pass through this valley of tears, "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin." Where is your duty-faith here? See, then, how clear it is that these persons were, when the apostle thus exhorted them, alive from the dead; stood before him as the children of the new covenant, stood before him as the children of the resurrection, stood before him as the blessed of the Lord. He might have cursed you, but he has said he will bless you, for you are a part of his people, "in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." I will not say anything harsh or hasty if I can help it, because these are very solemn matters, but I do believe that the doctrine of exhorting the natural man to spiritual acts, the doctrine of general invitation and general exhortation, as though it were either the duty or in the power of a sinner, dead in sin, to do anything spiritual-I do believe that such a doctrine has a great tendency to deceive the souls of men; and I do think such a doctrine is a very irreverent doctrine; I think it is a doctrine that dishonors the counsels of God the Father, as though his counsels were so lax that they would not secure the ingathering of the objects of his love. I think also such a doctrine dishonors the ford Jesus Christ, who has said, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring." (John 10:16) I also think that the doctrine of general exhortation to dead men to perform spiritual acts is a sin against the Holy Ghost, that bloweth where he listeth, taketh up the isles as a very little thing, and giveth to every man severally as he will. And I think such a doctrine also has a tendency to rob us of the liberty we have in Christ, bring us into bondage, and make us put confidence in human effort, instead of our faith standing in the wisdom and everlasting love of the great God. And therefore, if we feel what we ought to feel gratitude to God,-we shall contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. And what was that faith? Why, a faith that made it all of grace, and the promise sure unto all the seed. Much more could I say upon what I believe to be the evil of that doctrine. Instead of putting our poor fellow-creatures off with the notion that they can repent, and that they can cast themselves upon Christ-they can come to Christ, let us preach that repentance that is essential to salvation. Let us insist upon the evidences of being born of God; let us insist upon the fruits of that repentance which Christ is exalted a Prince and a Saviour to give; and then, when the sinner sees himself destitute of all this, he is alarmed begins to seek God in earnest. But all the time you put men off with a duty-faith and a duty-repentance, they settle down in death's dark shade, hate God's truth; they have no doubts, no fears, no misgivings-how should they, for they are dead in sin;-there is no groaning, being burdened. Not so the real Christian. There is a mighty difference in his character; he has undergone a wonderful revolution, become a new creature, a new man.

Secondly, I notice the meaning of the repentance and conversion here spoken of. You that are thus awakened to see this, you want to know what you shall do. Well, "repent." I should question whether the word "repent" would convey precisely the same idea to them that it does to us. Parkhurst defines the Greek word in this twofold way:-First, to think after; that is, to think the matter over-Second, that it means change from the position you had before. Now, then, they were to repent; they were to change from what they were before. Let us look at it. First, ignorance. See how unacquainted you were with Jesus Christ. Yes, we were. See how unacquainted you were with the new covenant. Yes, we were. See how unacquainted you were with resurrection; see how unacquainted you were with God's way of blessing you. Yes, we were. But now, by Jesus Christ having put your sin away, and by receiving Jesus Christ, that turns you from your sins, sad turns your sins from you; makes you

"One with Jesus, by eternal union one:"

Now you come away from that which you did know, come away fret those doctrines, repent of your ignorance, and come to where knowledge is. Where is knowledge? In Christ; for in him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Nay, Peter might have said, and perhaps did say-for it is only a small sample of what he did say recorded,-he might have said, Jesus himself says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Matt. 11:28,29) Do not go back to these beggarly elements again, Repent, change from them. So we do. You want to know what you are to do. You did not think you would be received. No, we did not. Oh, we are glad we may look to the Lord; we are glad we may expect mercy; we are glad there is a sufficiency of grace to save us, and we are glad that with him there is plenteous redemption and plenteous mercy. Second, their enmity. See how deadly their enmity was. Now do not go back there again. You want to know what you are to do. Satan will tell you, Ah! it is too late to look to God now; it is too late to look to Jesus Christ now. If you had looked before you committed this dreadful sin, and that dreadful sin, and the other dreadful sin, it would have been all very well; but it is too late now. But, as though Peter should say, do not repent as though it were the repentance of desperation; but come from your enmity, and look to him. He loves you, he has chosen you, he has redeemed you, and, though you do not understand it yet, he has called you, and you are alive from the dead. Therefore repent of your ignorance and of your enmity; that is, turn away from it. For all repentances are practical. The desperate repentance is practical, the repentance of reformation is practical, and I am sure the repentance which the Lord gives from his eternal throne is practical. Was it not practical with Saul of Tarsus? How he turned away from his former ignorance, his unbelief, and his enmity! And now turn to that gospel that shall make you wise unto salvation; turn to that gospel that shall overcome your unbelief and nourish your faith; turn to that gospel which will slay your enmity, shed abroad God's love in your hearts, and make you a happy, happy people. Here, then, Jesus Christ showed in this case, as he does in all cases where salvation is, that he is exalted a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance to Israel. Let us ask, for a moment, how is it with us that are here this morning? Have we been brought to know Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob spiritually, or as they stood in an eternal covenant? Are we brought to see what the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are? and are we the children of the prophets-the prophets being our paternal teachers-that we love them in the spiritual testimonies they bear of God's eternal mercy? If so, then is fulfilled in us, that promise of the Lord to Christ, and from him to the apostles, and from them to all the people of God down to the end of time,-As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; "My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth"-nor did they; the Saviour retained the truth to the end "nor out of the mouth of thy seed"-the apostles; nor did they,-"nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed." Bless the Lord, these truths have been in my mouth now for forty-two years; they have not departed and they never will; I love them more and more every day; and yet, presently, when I come to die, I shall cross the Jordan in a holy; heavenly, glorious triumph, by the testimony of the gospel, and shall enter heaven with the testimonies of the gospel, and to all eternity shall glorify the Lord in the language of the testimonies of the gospel; for it is an everlasting gospel. The gospel that has come to earth will go to heaven. As the same Jesus Christ that came from heaven to earth went from earth to heaven-as the same Jesus Christ that lived and died on earth reigns for ever in heaven, so the same gospel that has made us acquainted with him here will be the language, only in perfection, when time itself shall be no more.

Again, "be converted." To be converted means to be conformed. Repentance means a change from the former ignorance, unbelief, and enmity, into knowledge, faith, and love. Conversion means conformity. To be converted means to be conformed to the new state of things. "Be ye conformed unto him." This is what they desire-to be conformed unto him. Why, the Lord's people are converted a great many times during their lifetime, because to be converted means to be conformed. You are every day more or less deformed, and then when the Lord renews you again, that conforms you. When Peter denied the Lord, he was deformed; and the Saviour said, "When thou art converted "-that is, conformed from this deformity,-" strengthen thy brethren." You will do very well for that now, because you will strengthen them in the right way. Now that you have denied me you have had a pretty good proof that there is no strength in the creature; so that if you strengthen them now, you will strengthen them in the right sort of thing, and in the right way. "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Why, Peter had been converted long before that; and therefore the conversion there means a renewed conformity to God's order. Now this conformity is to be by faith. Receive Jesus Christ as your life, as your light, as your sanctification, as your righteousness, as your redemption, as your all and in all. There is many a regenerated man that has not yet fully repudiated or changed from his former state. Many a regenerated man is not yet complete in his conversion, not yet completely conformed to God's own order of things.

We notice now the great purpose,-"that your sins may be blotted out;" that is, I apprehend, in their consciences. Now if you will look to this, you will see a great importance in it. In order for your sins to be blotted out, there must be a conformity to God's own way of blotting them out. You must be humbled enough to make you feel that the law is spiritual, and you are carnal, sold under sin, and that if ever your sins be forgiven, it must be entirely for his name's sake, it must be entirely through the blood of Christ, it must be entirely by God's good pleasure, it must be entirely by the freeness of his mercy and of his grace. Then he says, "I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions, for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." (Isa. 43:25) These people were now prepared for this. See how the Lord prepared Isaiah to receive forgiveness; see his 6th chapter. See how the Lord prepared Joshua the high priest to receive forgiveness. See how the Lord prepared the publican to receive forgiveness. See how the Lord prepared Saul of Tarsus to receive forgiveness. See how the Lord prepared the people on the day of Pentecost to receive forgiveness. And see how he prepared you. I know he prepared me. I shall never forget the wormwood and the gall. God alone knows what I for months suffered from my guilt and sin, the threatening's of the Bible, the wrath of God. His wrath indeed lay hard upon me. I thought, of all the demons in hell there was not one so vile as I was. But I did not know that he was preparing to blot out my transgressions. By-and-bye the Saviour's blood is sprinkled, the truth comes with power; peace, life, light, liberty, joy, and full assurance of interest in eternal things flow into my soul; my peace became as a river, and Christ's righteousness to me like the waves of the sea, rolling in wave after wave, promise after promise, blessing after blessing; and now within a few weeks of forty years I have preached in the strength of what the Lord gave me then; "Tarry in Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." Religion is a personal, a divine, a vital, an incorruptible, an eternal reality. As soon could the Saviour fall from his throne as one of his sheep ever lost. There is a stability about it. "He that hath begun the good work in you will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:6) His dealings will humble you, and make you feel what a poor creature you are and of yourself. As the Christian goes on, he sinks in his own estimation day by day; while the Saviour rises, the truth rises, and Christ is the Christian's path; Christ is the path that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

But, lastly, we have in our text a note of time, or times, "When the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." Before I notice the note of time, I will just make an observation here upon the presence of the Lord. The idea is this to my mind. God in the first Adam, the fall, has forsaken you; he has hid his face from you, and you are there consumed because of your iniquities. God in the broken covenant, the Jewish nation, has hid his face from you; you know not the things that belong to your peace, your national peace; they are hid from your eyes. God has left you, given you up to the wild beasts and birds of prey-the Roman armies and others; "where the carcass is, there will the eagles "-the birds of prey be gathered together," and carry on that work that shall terminate in your destruction as a nation. But now, by Christ Jesus, here, by Christ Jesus, he smiles upon you, dwells with you, and will never hide his face from you again, as, in the first Adam and as in the broken covenant. Here, in Christ Jesus, he will dwell with you for ever. For Jesus has spoiled principalities-that is, sinful and Satanic principalities-and powers, hath ascended up on high, and received gifts for men, even for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them. Now he will come and smile upon you, love you, bless you, approve you; now he will not behold iniquity in you, nor see perverseness in you; now, as you stand there, there shall be no enchantment against you, nor any divination against you; no, God is with you, the shout of a king in your midst, and all you can do is to stand and wonder, and say, "What hath God wrought!" The presence of the Lord;-did the Saviour ever favor his disciples with his presence on the ground of anything good in them-that is, after the flesh considered? There was something good in them, because his grace was in them, and faith was in them, and his Spirit was in them. Was there nothing wrong, was there no weakness shown on their part between the time when the dear Saviour was taken in the garden of Gethsemane, and the time when he rose from the dead? Yes, say you, they all forsook him and fled. But when he reappeared to them, did he reappear to them unkindly, wrathfully, retributively--Were not his first words, "Peace be unto you"? Did he not breathe on them the breath of life? "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." And were not the disciples glad when they saw the Lord? Oh, what a sweet revelation is this-to have our God with us, never, never, no, never to leave nor to forsake us! Here we have the presence of the Lord in a way that his presence can be had by man in no other manner. And what does the refreshing mean? Why, it means what would take me three or four hours to open up; therefore I must just hint at it. First, it is a sabbatical term. In Deuteronomy, where Moses speaks of the Lord's, creating the world, he says, "The Lord rested on the seventh day, and was refreshed." Now Jesus Christ rested when his work was done, and not before, and is refreshed. And therefore it means release. Our law toil is done, our law work is done, the suffering is done, all is completed, and by him we are released. And what is more refreshing than this-to be released from sin, and disease, and all tribulation?


("Ho!" Isaiah 55:1)

You will easily remember this little text. It is the word of the living God, and full of solemn import. I shall consider it from a three-fold point of view--first, as an exclamation; secondly, as an invitation; thirdly, as a declaration.


"Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5:4)

FAITH is the gift of God. No man can possess a true and living faith until God is pleased to produce it in his heart. It is not merely an assent and consent to the letter of the word; for a man may believe with a natural faith everything that is written in the Bible, and yet be destitute of the faith of God's elect. True "faith standeth not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God;" it is not merely sentiment or opinion, but it is a divine assurance wrought in the heart of a poor sinner by almighty power. "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us." (1 John 4:16) It "is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence (or ground, or confidence) of things not seen;" and through the exercise of it we credit that which we cannot comprehend and do not perceive. Nay, faith often receives that which is quite contrary to what we feel and see. Thus it is above sense, and very often opposed to it. Yes, a poor sinner feels himself to be all sin, defilement, and pollution; but when the Lord enables him to receive, apply, and appropriate the precious atoning blood of the Saviour, he really knows, and that by blessed experience, that he is cleansed indeed. And though he feels and confesses with Paul, "I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing;" (Romans 7:18) and though he is thoroughly convinced of his utter destitution of all righteousness, being unable to speak a good word, think a good thought, or perform a good act; yet, when he is enabled by faith to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lord his righteousness, his heart is persuaded and assured (notwithstanding all his fears) that he shall appear "without fault before the throne of God." (Rev. 14:5) Thus it is that the Lord enables his people to triumph over sin through believing in the Saviour. And this faith works by love to Jesus, and so exalts him in our esteem that we are brought to hate self and to value Jesus above every other object, in heaven or on earth. It enables us to triumph over self,--sinful self and righteous self. We desire to "put off the old man with his deeds, and to put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness;" and the effect of this is that mortification of which Paul speaks: "But if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." (Romans 8:13) When the forgiveness of all trespasses flows into our hearts, through faith in the precious atoning blood of the Saviour, "who, of God, is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption," (1 Cor. 1:30) then he is all our righteousness, all our holiness, and all our salvation. We have no other; we want no other. Professors are apt to put the fruits of holiness for holiness, and thus to ascribe some degree of excellence to the creature; but I do know that all genuine fruit, whether internal or external, can only spring from our union to Christ. He says, "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in me." (John 15:4)" - John Hobbs


When we consider the doctrine of salvation, what relationship do grace, duty, and gospel preaching sustain with each other? Are grace and duty compatible in the matter of salvation, or does the existence of one automatically exclude the other? And what is the aim of gospel preaching? Is it to all upon the unregenerate to perform certain duties by which they are to be regenerated, and thus be saved? Or is it to call forth the elect unto repentance? To answer these questions, let us consider the following.

The aim of gospel preaching - Gery Schmidt

"The third subject we shall consider is the aim of gospel preaching. And we will look at the two questions asked in the introduction. First, is the aim of gospel preaching to call upon the unregenerate to perform certain duties by which they are to be regenerated, and thus be saved? Though this is undoubtedly the prevailing view among such who profess to be Christians, the Scriptures declare emphatically that this is not the purpose or end of gospel preaching. First, the signification and extent of grace prove that the aim of gospel preaching cannot be to induce the unregenerate to perform salvation-meriting duties. The signification of grace teaches us that the divine favor is an unmeritable favor, wherein man is discovered to be, on account of his sinful nature, unworthy, incapable of earning, and undesiring of saving grace. The extent of grace instructs us that every component of salvation, from beginning to end, is grounded in the unmerited favor of God, and thus includes such things as repentance and faith.

A new law based on easier terms (or duties) - Gery Schmidt

"...the Mosaic Law demonstrates that duty has no place in the matter of salvation. The apostle Paul speaks of the Law as a tutor (Gal. 3:24), and with respect to our theme, the Law instructs us on two critical points. First, it illustrates the total depravity of man. When we take a panoramic view of the Old Testament history of Israel, the Sinaitic covenant witnesses time and time again the sinfulness of the Israelites. From the time they came up out of Egypt, to the time of their exile, and upon their return from captivity, the depravity of the Israelites is always made manifest in the light of the Law. But this very manifestation of the Israelites' depravity was in fact one reason why God gave the Law unto Israel. In Romans 5:20 Paul writes that "the Law came in that the transgression might increase." Now the Law which God gave to Moses was both perfect and holy, and it represented a duty-ridden system. Well what was the outcome when this duty-ridden system was given unto Israel? It only exposed their depravity in that not one soul was able to keep the Law perfectly. The Law made manifest man's natural enmity toward God, and consequently, the transgressions of the Israelites only increased, precisely as God had intended. And the grand lesson here is that the Law, in exposing man's depravity, points him away from himself, and away from the performance of duties.

Secondly, the Law illustrates the absolute necessity of grace in salvation. In Gal 3:24 Paul writes that "the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith." We just saw how the Law exposes man's depravity, and that it points sinners away from both themselves and the performance of duties. The apostle Paul notes that this very Law directs sinners unto Jesus Christ. It is Christ alone, the God-man, who was able to both keep the Law and offer himself up as a propitiatory sacrifice in the stead of his elect. In demonstrating both man's depravity and inability to save himself, the Law shows forth the absolute necessity of God's grace, and thus points to Christ who alone is the all-sufficient Saviour of his people. The Law does not point sinners away from one set of duties only to direct them to another set of duties.

Neonomianism, however, actually propounds just such a view. This heresy posits that the gospel is a new law based on easier terms (or duties). But such a view misunderstands the purpose of the law, and destroys the very truth that salvation is all of grace. For in replacing one set of duties with another set of duties (the duties of repenting, believing, etc.), one still ends up with salvation by works, the very thing the Mosaic Law intended to direct sinners away from. Further, since the Law only exposes man's depravity, so that transgressions only increase, and points him unto Christ, how can the introduction of a new law, based on supposedly easier terms, possibly improve the situation for the unregenerate? The Law however, points sinners to Christ, and not to duties of any sort. And thus it reveals that duty has no place in the matter of salvation." -Gery Schmidt

The heretical doctrine of salvation of works - Gery Schmidt

"...the concept of duty represents the very essence of all man-made religions. All religions, excepting the true one of the Bible, teach in one form or another that salvation is grounded in works. And works are nothing more than the performance of stated duties. At the center of any works system is man and not God. The emphasis is on what man has the ability to do, and not on his inability. Professing Christians who propound that the unregenerate have the ability to perform certain duties by which they might be saved are, notwithstanding their claims to the contrary, proclaiming the heretical doctrine of salvation of works. Their emphasis is on man and his supposed ability, and not on God and his efficacious grace. To speak of such things as repentance and faith as duties of the unregenerate is to make them into works. And such a procedure represents a blasphemous contradiction to the Scriptures which declare that salvation is of grace and not of works. This being the case, duty can never have any part in the matter of salvation." - Gery Schmidt

Duties in order to be saved - Gery Schmidt

"Are grace and duty compatible in the matter of salvation? From what we have seen concerning both the signification and extent of grace, we must answer this question negatively. Indeed, the very existence of grace forever excludes duty from the matter of salvation. The following three points will establish the veracity of this. First, the Scriptures declare that salvation is of grace and not of works (Eph. 2:8,9). But does this fact entail that all works are excluded in the matter of salvation? From what we learned concerning the extent of grace, wherein we saw that every component of salvation from beginning to end is the result of unmerited divine favor, it is clear that any and every sort of work which might be contemplated can have absolutely no place in the scheme of salvation. Therefore, it is impossible for anyone to argue that salvation is wholly of grace, only to insist in the same breath that sinners must perform certain duties in order to be saved.

For example, when professing Christians insist that things like repentance, faith, and prayer are duties the unregenerate ought to perform in order to be saved, such a view represents a denial that salvation is of grace. Repentance, faith, and prayer are in such a scheme removed from the process of salvation (and thus from the realm of grace), and are denuded of their status as gifts of grace. They are made into salvation meriting duties which the unregenerate can perform at any given time, should they desire to exercise their powerful free will. Such a view not only forms the very quintessence of Arminianism, but is even held by many who pretend to believe the doctrines of grace. But such a view ultimately represents nothing more than the dogma of salvation by works. The Scriptures evince that repentance, faith, and prayer are gifts of grace, and not the products of unregenerate effort. And thus the Scriptural truth that salvation is of grace and not of works condemns as absolutely heretical any attempt to manufacture a work or duty out of such things which God's word relegates solely to the realm of grace." -Gery Schmidt

Upon whom does the unmerited favor of God terminate? - Gery Schmidt

"We move on to consider another aspect of grace, namely, its objects. Upon whom does the unmerited favor of God terminate? Does every single human being represent an object of God's grace? The Scriptures answer this question negatively. God's word clearly delineates that none but the elect are the objects of the grace of God. In Matt. 1:21 the purpose of the incarnation was to "save his people from their sins." In John 10:10 the Lord declares that he "lays down his life for the sheep," and not for the goats. In John 17:9 the Lord prays not for everyone in the world, but only for those who had been given to him. These are but three examples of many which clearly demonstrate that the grace of God is restricted to the elect. Were it true that every human being was the object of divine grace, such distinctions as "his people," sheep," and "those whom you have given me" would be pointless. The distinction "his people" implies there are such who are not Christ's sheep (Mt. 25:32,33; John 10:26). Such who are "given to Christ" implies there are those who are not given to Christ.

And the argument based on such words as "all" and "world" do not make every soul the object of divine grace. Does the "whole world" of 1 John 5:19 include the apostle John and all other Christians? Does the "world" of John 12:19 include the Pharisees who used the term? Does the term "all" in Luke 21:17 have reference to fellow Christians? The answer to each of these questions is an obvious no. Why then do professing Christians force an unwarranted universal concept upon the words "world" and "all" in such texts as John 3:16, 1 John 2:2, and 2 Cor. 5:15? The very idea that these texts prove every human being is the object of God's favor is contradicted throughout the Scriptures (in addition to those listed above) by such limiting and qualifying terms as "many," "the children of God,' and "the elect" (see Mk. 10:45; John 11:52; Rom. 8:33).

Further, contextual considerations show that the "world" referred to in John 3:16 and 1 John 2:2 designates God's non-Jewish elect scattered throughout the nations (Rev. 5:9), while the "all" of 2 Cor. 5:15 refers to the all who live no longer for themselves, but for Christ. And these can only be the elect. Indeed, the very doctrine of election, which is grounded in, and proceeds from God's grace, demonstrates that grace knows no other objects but the elect. This very distinctive presupposes the existence of such who are non-elect. And certainly, reprobation is not a matter of grace but justice, and hence, the reprobate cannot be the objects of grace. And such a fact will figure prominently when we come to consider the aim of gospel preaching." - Gery Schmidt

To deny that saving faith is of grace - Gery Schmidt

" ground any part of salvation in something other than the grace of God is to deny salvation is wholly of grace. Consider the following two examples. For someone to maintain that election is grounded upon foreseen merit is to deny election is of grace. Or, if someone argues that the act of saving faith is the work of the unregenerate, by which salvation is procured, is again to deny that saving faith is of grace. And yet, do not a great many professing Christians believe and argue in this very manner, all the while contending that salvation is all of grace?" - Gery Schmidt

True faith - John Fawcett

"Does the divine word reveal a Saviour? Does it inform us, that the Son of God took upon him our nature, stood in our place, bare our sins, satisfied justice for offences, and reconciled us to God? Does the Father declare unto us, that he is well pleased in his Son, who has obtained eternal redemption for us? This is understood and believed by him that has true faith." -John Fawcett

No man is solicitous about being saved who does not see and feel himself lost - John Fawcett

"No man is solicitous about being saved who does not see and feel himself lost. The whole do not apply to the physician, but they who are sick. No man comes to Christ for pardon, who does not see the greatness and grievousness of his sins. No man believes with the heart unto righteousness, who is not convinced of the insufficiency of his own works to justify him before God. No man looks to the Redeemer for justification, who does not see that he is under the sentence of condemnation. No man comes to Jesus that he may have life, who is not sensible, that, as a sinner, he is doomed to death. Thus, faith implies a conviction and belief of what the word of God reveals, concerning the state and condition of fallen man." - John Fawcett

The commandment comes home to the conscience - John Fawcett

"Has the author of our being revealed in his blessed word, the purity of his own nature, his abhorrence of sin, the strictness and holiness of that law by which we are governed? This is known and believed, when, under the illumination of the Divine Spirit, the commandment comes home to the conscience; then sin revives, the awakened sinner gives up his delusive hope, and, in that sense, dies." -John Fawcett

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions