Sep 30, 2010










WHY DID CHRIST DIE? by William Gadsby


William Gadsby

According to some people, Christ died to give all a chance of being saved! I do not know that I hate anything more in my soul than to hear that. It makes Jesus Christ so little–that He should do so much, and after all only to get us a chance of being saved. Why, if a man is set up in business, you see how often it happens that he fails in it; and if man cannot manage the paltry things of time and sense without being insolvent, what will he do with eternal realities? And if you come a little closer, when God "made man upright" and he had no sinful nature, what did he do with his innocence? He lost it all! And yet poor presumptuous man has the vanity to think you and I could manage the chance of being saved. What an insult it is to the Lord Jesus Christ to fix the eternal honour of God upon chance, and that chance to be managed by a poor sinful creature who is tumbling into half a dozen holes every hour of his life! NO, NO. Thanks be to God for immortal realities and certainties. WHAT IS SAID CONCERNING WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE? He has "put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself;" He has "finished transgression and made an end of sin;" He has "redeemed us from all iniquity;" He has "redeemed us from the curse of the law," from destruction and from the power of the devil; He has "obtained eternal redemption for us;" He has "redeemed us to God." To the honour of the Eternal Trinity it is said, not that the redeemed shall have a chance, but that the redeemed shall "come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." The Lord Jesus Christ has done this "great" work; and He has gone to heaven shouting "Victory," for "God is gone up with a shout; the Lord with the sound of a trumpet." He rose from the grave as a demonstrative proof that sin was destroyed, law satisfied, God honoured, His people eternally and everlastingly saved. And the immortal honours of God unite in their salvation; therefore, He ever lives at the right hand of the Father to make intercession.



"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit Is spirit"- Joh 3:6

THERE is no promise made that we shall be set free in this life from the in-being and the in-working of sin. Many think that they are to become progressively holier and holier, that sin after sin is to be removed gradually out of the heart, until at last they are almost made perfect in the flesh. But this is an idle dream, and one which, sooner or later in the case of God’s people, will be rudely and roughly broken to pieces. Nature will ever remain the same; and we shall ever find that the flesh will lust against the spirit. Our Adam nature is corrupt to the very core. It cannot be mended, it cannot be sanctified, it is at the last what it was at the first, inherently evil, and as such will never cease to be corrupt till we put off mortality, and with it the body of sin and death. All we can hope for, long after; expect and pray for, is, that this evil nature may be subdued, kept down, mortified, crucified, and held in subjection under the power of grace; but as to any such change passing upon it or taking place in it as to make it holy, it is but a pharisaic delusion, which, promising a holiness in the flesh, leaves us still under the power of sin, whilst it opposes with deadly enmity that true sanctification of the new man of grace, which is wrought by a divine power, and is utterly distinct from any fancied holiness in the flesh, or any vain dream of its progressive sanctification.

Sep 28, 2010







DEARLY beloved in the Lord Jesus Christ, our common Saviour, who has loved us, and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice of a sweet savour unto God; his Father, and our Father, his God, and our God ; in an everlasting covenant which cannot be forgotten.

The Universal Invitation of the Gospel by John Rusk

The Universal Invitation of the Gospel
by John Rusk

"Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Isaiah 55:1
From the Gospel Standard Magazine 1855

The beauty of this booklet is that it contains such a positive presentation of the gospel of God's free grace. There is no taint of that fleshly, creature religion that is the outcome when the preacher insists on asserting duty faith and duty repentance. Such an emphasis encourages a legal spirit and well suits fallen man who is by nature wedded to the covenant of works and wants to contribute something to his own salvation. Here we see that the gospel promise is for those who, by the application of the law, have been stripped of all self- strength. It is made plain that the invitations are suited to those who have been quickened to feel their total depravity and utter helplessness as sinners.

These contents are most striking as those of us who deny the free offer are accused of not really preaching the gospel properly, as has been evident in recent articles in the Christian press. Not surprisingly a measure of controversy has been stirred, and in exposing the false arguments employed against us a negative response might have been expected. However what we have here is not a yea and nay gospel but the true gospel in which God's promises in Christ are all yea and amen (2 Cor. 1:20).

John Rusk (1772-1834) was a hearer of William Huntington (1745-1813) and profited greatly under his faithful, discriminating ministry. Rusk himself was not a preacher, but he was a voluminous author, and as will be seen in these pages, a deeply taught man and a well instructed scribe in the mysteries of God's spiritual kingdom.

Henry Sant. April 1995.

Sep 23, 2010

Loved because He would love - Job Hupton

"Pray how do you do, and how is Mrs. B. ? Are your bodies in health and do your souls prosper ? I inquire alike after body and soul, because they are alike the purchase of Messiah's blood, and equally precious in his esteem. He bought the whole man : our bodies and our spirits are his ; his entirely, his for ever ; his royal treasure and his precious jewels. For as he has bought them both with one and the same price, so he has loved them with one and the same love. He loved and redeemed ; redeemed because he loved, and loved because he would love. As the Father hath loved him, so hath he loved us, our bodies and souls, with love unchangeable and infinite, running through all the vicissitudes of time and all the revolving ages of eternity, without variation or the shadow of a change. 0, what a humbling consideration is this, and what a powerful incentive to love and obedience ! When I consider that Jesus is the everlasting God, the high and lofty one, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy ; who dwelleth in the high and holy place, exalted in his own eternal excellence, infinitely above all the blessing and praise that seraphic powers can raise to his name; who humbleth himself to behold the purest and the brightest things that are in heaven, and before whom the whole creation is nothing, less than nothing and vanity ; and, when I believe that this high and mighty Lord, infinite in majesty and grandeur, loves me, a worm, an atom, and compared with him, nothing, less than nothing ; and not only less than nothing, but worse than nothing, a sinner, a rebel, a traitor, a wretch laden with guilt, in my flesh replete with evil ; utterly unworthy of the smallest mercy from his hand, and deserving the utmost possible destruction, I wonder with amazement ; I blush and am ashamed ; I fall down into the dust before the feet of my infinitely glorious and condescending lover, covered with shame, and filled with self-abasement and self-abhorrence. I grieve and mourn, that sin, which he cannot love, should dwell in me, whom he does love, I am ashamed that I love him so little, who loves me so much ; and that I can do scarcely any thing to honour him, who has done, yea, and suffered too, every thing requisite for my complete salvation from eternal disgrace and misery, and is doing every thing needful to raise me to everlasting honour and felicity. I long to be entirely free, not only from the commission of sin, but also from the being of that hateful and accursed thing; to love my gracious redeeming Lord, without intermission, without weakness, without the least imperfection; and to be devoted to his honour and praise, in body, soul, and spirit, every day, every hour, every moment of my future life." - Job Hupton

Sep 22, 2010

Acts 24:24-25 - John Foreman

And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ,' Acts 24:24. This was a most favorable opportunity for duty faith and universal invitations to have been advanced and enforced; and such an opportunity too, as could not have justly or innocently been suffered to pass by unembraced and unimproved, had any such doctrines, sentiments, principles, thoughts or ideas been contained and known in the apostle's great commission `to bear the Lord's name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel,' Acts 9:15. But is there anything of the kind to be found here in Paul's address? No, not one word, for at verse 25, chapter 24 it is said, "And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled." Here was no duty faith nor universal invitations in this, but a fair and honest statement of facts, supported by sound and solemn reasoning. This was a mode of address to a Gentile sinner that needed no reconciling with the counsels of God and other truths of the faith of Christ.

Oh! you mourning saints, be not astonished at your afflictions - Robert Hawker

"Under this renewed conviction and distress of mind, I sat down pensive and melancholy. I considered now that all hopes of salvation were over; and was in a state little short of despair. I knew not at this time that these were the blessed effects of divine teaching; and that God the Holy Spirit was thus, one by one, removing all the props of self-confidence, and emptying the soul—in order to prepare it for receiving out of the fullness of the Savior. Oh! it is a gracious process of mercy. We must become poor in order to be made rich; and the apostle's paradoxes must be literally verified, to be "dying, that we may live; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; having nothing, and yet possessing all things." (2 Cor. 6:9,10.) Oh! you mourning saints, be not astonished at your afflictions. Be they ever so heavy, or of ever so long continuance, there is a needs be for every one of them; your God is faithful in sending the affliction; and your God will be equally faithful in carrying you through it. Settle this in your mind as an everlasting maxim, every one of them shall terminate to your benefit. The Lord appoints it for the exercise of your faith; and if your faith gives glory to God, God will confirm and honor your faith. This is among the all things which must work together for good to those who love God." -Robert Hawker

Sep 20, 2010

John 4:10 - John Foreman

"And when our Lord talked with the woman of Samaria, he neither told her that it was her duty to believe unto salvation nor invited her to do so, but pointed at her conscience through the medium of her rationality, saying, Ìf thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water,' John iv 10. Here our Lord preached a cluster of truths in few words to this unconverted woman, and that without any contradiction to other truths, or jar with the free and sovereign grace counsels of God; and also without telling her that it was her duty to believe unto salvation, or inviting her to do so; but it was a shewing of her, that if she were convinced of the truth and knew what was true, she would pray; and that if she were a praying person she should obtain, as all praying souls shall and do obtain, the blessings prayed for. `Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband and come hither,' verse 16. This was neither duty faith nor universal invitations to salvation; but a home appeal to her conscience, through the medium of her conduct in life; for Jesus knew that she had no husband, verse 17, and an honest statement of God's truth will find out all such things by the power of the Holy Ghost, without the minister's even knowing the person; whilst duty faith and universal invitations neither detect nor destroy them, but cover them over, and deceive the soul with a false piety. And our Lord further said, 'Ye worship ye know not what,' verse 22. This was an appeal to her conscience through the blindness of her devotion; while true worship must embrace in it a knowledge of God who is worshipped, and the heart engaged accordingly. If we want to know how to address sinners in the name of the Lord, here is an example which cannot be excelled, an example which needs no reconciling with the counsels of God, an example that is in harmony with all the particular truths of free, sovereign, and absolute grace, an example from the spirit of which we have no warrant to deviate in the ministration of the gospel of the grace of God." -John Foreman

Sir, the new Law is here - [Exposing the New Law of Neonomianism] - John Brine

"The Author [the Baxterian] endeavours to clear himself of the Charge of holding the Opinion of a New Law. The Method he takes to do it, is this: We maintain , says he, the Perfection and perpetual Obligation of the moral Law of God , and plead for no new Law in the Room of that , so as to annul it . We don’t make Repentance and Faith a Covenant of Works, nor Salvation to depend only on these as Man’s Duties . But the Gospel we call a new Dispensation, built upon God’s Act of Grace in Christ. And as the Fall occasioned a new Relation between God and Man, new Duties necessarily arise from hence. The moral Law is not only kept up in its Perfection, but it is put into the Hands of Christ, as the appointed Lord and King in the Church; and it is also attemper’d to the State and Condition of Sinners and Gospel Grace. The Place which Repentance and Faith hold in the new Covenant, is all of Grace; and there Duties are to be performed by the Help and Strength of God’s Grace, and must be accepted thro’ Christ. Where then is the Charge of a new Law?

Upon which I thus remark: It seems to be allowed, that a new Law is introduced, yet not so as to annul the old Law; that, notwithstanding retains its Power and Force, only Men are also under another Law, which if they keep, they shall not suffer that Punishment the old Law threatens; but in Case they keep not this new Law, they are delivered over to the Curse of the old Law. Again, if Repentance and Faith are proper Conditions of Salvation, they are made a Covenant of Works; all the Difference is, the old Law required perfect Works as Conditions of Happiness, here imperfect Works serve the Purpose.

Farther, it is plainly allowed, that Salvation depends on Faith and Repentance, (tho’ not only) as Man’s Duties: And therefore Men are in Part causes of their Salvation. I add, I suppose the Act of God’s Grace mentioned, is dispensing with the rigorous Demand of Perfection in the moral Law, as a Condition of Life, upon which the Gospel Dispensation is laid to be built, which lowers the Condition to imperfect Obedience. Moreover, if Repentance is one of those Duties, which necessarily arise from the new Relation, occasioned by the Fall, between God and Man, then it would have been the Duty of Men, in Case no Provision had been made for their Recovery, which is what the Author has more than once seemed to disallow.

I cannot understand what new Relation between God and Man takes Place upon the Fall. Before the Fall, God was Creator, a Lawgiver and Judge to Man: So he was upon the Fall; Man before it, was his Creature, the Subject of his Rule and Government, and so he is after it; but now a Creature chargeable with Guilt, and obnoxious to Death, these are new Circumstances to the unhappy Creature Man; but in no Sense, as I can at present apprehend, may they be denominated a new Relation to God.

I subjoin, it is granted, that the moral Law is put into the Hands of Christ, and he uses that Law, either as a Saviour, or as a Judge merely; in the former Sense, he acquits his People upon the Foundation of his Obedience and Sufferings, and flees them from it as a Covenant of Works: In the latter Sense, he retains Men under the Curse and Condemnation of it now, and will hereafter try, judge and condemn them to endless Misery, according to that Law. I deny, that the old Law is attempered to the State, and Condition of Sinners and Gospel Grace, it commands the same Holiness it ever did, and threatens the same Punishment in Case of Sin, or Defect in Obedience; otherwise its Perfection and perpetual Obligation cease, which this Writer a few Lines above professes to maintain perfectly inconsistent with what is here said, unless I mistake.

To say that Repentance and Faith are Conditions of Life, as an Effect of divine Grace, will not acquit the Opinion, of being contrary to the Doctrine of the Apostle, who constantly denies, that Salvation is of a Law, or of Works. And tho’ these Duties are said to be performed by the Help and Strength of God’s Grace, and that they are accepted thro Christ; yet it is easy to see, that the promised Benefit of Life, becomes due upon the Foot of Right, on the Performance of those Duties, and therefore, the Reward is not of Grace, but of Debt; and that these Duties are to be considered, as the Matter of our Justification before God for Christ’s Sake.

To the Author’s Enquiry therefore, I must take leave to say, Sir, the new Law is here, and that he will never be able to clear himself of so heavy but just a Charge. All the Art he has used, in the Choice of ambiguous Phrases, could not cover his Design, it was a vain Thing in him to expect it; for if Men deliver Principles, which necessarily resolve themselves into the Opinion of a new Law, it can’t reasonably be thought, That that Opinion should long remain out of View.

But what follows is exceeding strange, he tells the Calvinist it would not be difficult to make Reprisals. For you must grant, says he, that the Law is no longer in Force as a Covenant of Works, for the Justification of Sinners: This infers so far an Alteration from the original Law; and therefore one might say you make a new Law. The Answer is, that it is not merely as a Law, it requires Obedience of Men as a Condition of Life, but as it is a Covenant. Their Freedom from it, as requiring Obedience to such an End, infers no Change in it as a Law, for it is not essential to it as a Law, to command Obedience to such an End; but it is essential to it as a Law to require Obedience, and if it now demands of Men imperfect Obedience, it is altered in what is essential to It as a Law, and therefore, is not the same Law it was. Farther, it is still in force, as a Covenant requiring perfect Righteousness in Order to Acceptance with God: Believers have such a perfect Righteousness in Christ, and therefore, they stand perfectly justified in the Sight of God, according to this Law, fulfilled for them, by Christ their great Surety and Saviour." -John Brine

Orthodoxy? - John Calvin and Opportunity Redemption

Many consider themselves strict Calvinists in that they strictly follow Calvin's understanding of soteriology (the doctrine of salvation). Calvin clearly taught a universally sufficient/potential atonement for the reprobate, opportunity redemption/the free offer, and a form of duty-faith. [see the quotes colored below] Calvin clearly held to 2 forms of grace. An open opportunity of a resistible grace intended for everyone and a secret irresistible grace only for the elect, so that the elect will meet the condition to obtain the resistible grace. This is a form of Neonomianism and it is no wonder that the Federal Vision teachers try to use Calvin to support their views of a conditional covenant of resistible grace.

1. On an offer of Redemption for the Reprobate - He invites to himself both the reprobate and the elect in common

"Last of all, David confesses that it was entirely owing to the pure grace of God that he had come to possess so great a good, and that he had been made a partaker of it by faith. It would be of no advantage to us for God to offer himself freely and graciously to us, if we did not receive him by faith, seeing he invites to himself both the reprobate and the elect in common; but the former, by their ingratitude, defraud themselves of this inestimatable blessing." (Calvin, Psalms 16:7)

2. On why the reprobate are not redeemed - Offered to all the world - We can obtain salvation through him - Who deprive themselves - They could share by faith

"That, then, is how our Lord Jesus bore the sins and iniquities of many. But in fact, this word “many” is often as good as equivalent to “all“. And indeed, our Lord Jesus was offered to all the world. For it is not speaking of three or four when it says: ‘For God so loved the world, that he spared not His only Son.” But yet we must notice that the Evangelist adds in this passage: “That whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but obtain eternal life.” Our Lord Jesus suffered for all, and there is neither great nor small who is not inexcusable today, for we can obtain salvation through him. Unbelievers who turn away from Him and who deprive themselves of him by their malice are today doubly culpable. (guilty, blameworthy) For how will they excuse their ingratitude in not receiving the blessing in which they could share by faith?" (John Calvin, Sermons on Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Death and Passion of Christ, 52:12, p., 140-1)

3. On why the reprobate do not benefit from the death of Christ - Their unbelief prevents them

"“To bear,” or, “take away sins”, is to free from guilt by his satisfaction those who have sinned. He says the sins of many, that is, of all, as in Romans 5:15. It is yet certain that not all receive benefit from the death of Christ; but this happens, because their unbelief prevents them." (John Calvin, Hebrews 9:28)

Sep 18, 2010

God’s Purpose to love some and punish others - John Brine

He [the Baxterian] observes, that many strict Calvinists have allowed, that God’s Hatred of Esau must be taken in a comparative Sense, and can mean no more than this, that Esau was not loved and regarded in the same extraordinary Way with Jacob. I thought: Hatred was the contrary of Love, and could not properly be put for a less Degree of it. Besides, the Apostle professedly treats of God’s Purpose to love some and punish others, and produces Jacob and Esau as Instances of it; his Design, therefore, is to shew that the Salvation of Jacob , proceeded from divine Love, and that the Destruction of Esau was a righteous Effect of divine Hatred. If therefore, by Hatred the Apostle means a lesser Love, it was a Love of such a Nature in God, from which the Infliction of Punishment for Sin proceeds, and by Consequence, from that Love, a Decree to inflict Penalty might be formed; an Interest in such a Kind of Love, can afford but little Hope of Salvation to a guilty Creature. He adds, the Apostle Jude doth not speak of any Decree of Reprobation , v.4 , but only that God has ordained Condemnation to be the Consequence of Sin, and the Portion of evil Doers . But, Sir, you will please to observe, that the Apostle is speaking of Persons, who were, says he, foreappointed, or forewritten, oi progrgrammhnnoi, to this Condemnation; all the Difference between the Apostle Jude and this Writer is, Jude speaks of Men as the Objects of a divine Appointment or forewriting to Condemnation; and this Author speaks of Punishment as the Consequence of Sin in general, without Relation to any particular Persons. This Difference, great as it is, is not unusually found between the Scriptures, and the Writings of the Arminians , whose Cause the Author defends (as I suppose,) in the best Manner he can.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 - William Huntington

Does not al real evangelical obedience lie in these words; The work of faith, the labour of love, and the patience of hope, in our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thess. i. 3. Work, here, as well as obedience, is ascribed to faith; labour is ascribed to love; and patience is ascribed to hope; and these are never produced by the Spirit in any person living, unless he be in our Lord Jesus Christ; that is, unless he be in covenant with the Lord, in the favour of the Lord, in union with the Lord, in the Spirit of the Lord, and a dweller in Christ by faith, and Christ in him the hope of glory.

Luke 3:3 - John Gill

Luke 3:3

Ver. 3. And he came into all the country about Jordan,.... He came out of the wilderness of Judea, where he first began his ministry, to some parts of the country that bordered on Jordan, and was near unto it, on either side the river; sometimes he was at Bethabara, and sometimes at Aenon, near Salim; for he did not take a tour round about all, the country that encompassed Jordan, but being at it, or in places adjacent to it, all the country round about came to him; see Mt 3:5.

Preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins: this was the work and office of John, as signified by Elias, in Mal 4:5 the Jews say {n},

"the Israelites will not repent, till Elias comes; as it is said, Mal 4:5 in the land of Israel repentance delights.''

John came into this land, preaching this doctrine;
See Gill on "Mr 1:4".

{n} Pirke Eliezer, c. 44.

Preaching Repentance - John Brine

...the Preaching of John the Baptist, who exhorted to Repentance, repent ye for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

1. Repentance was required of the Jews , as a Nation, for all the Blood of the Prophets which had been shed amongst: them, and for that Opposition they made to the true Interest and spiritual Kingdom of the promised Messiah; the Want of that Repentance proved their Destruction, which soon followed the Introduction of the New Testament State.

2. Evangelical Repentance was the Duty of particular Persons, which he also preached, and show’d the Necessity of, but it can’t, I think, Sir, be proved, that he ever asserted it to be the Duty of unregenerate Persons, to exercise that Grace. This becomes the Duty of Men, when they have Warrant from the divine Word, to consider God as their Redeemer in Christ, which no unregenerate Men have any Warrant to do. It is not question’d, but he also preached Faith in the promised Messiah, but what Proof does this afford, that Faith is the Duty of such Persons, as have not at present Warrant to consider God, as their Redeemer through Christ? None at all. Christ in his Ministry also preached Repentance.

Acts 19:4 - John Gill

Acts 19:4

Ver. 4. Then said Paul,.... In reply to their answer, understanding them that they were baptized by John, he takes it up, and gives an account of John's baptism: showing how agreeable it was, and that it was the same baptism with the baptism of Christ, being administered in his name:

John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance; which required repentance antecedent to it, and was a fruit and effect, and so an evidence of it:

saying unto the people; the people of the Jews, the common people, the multitude that attended on his ministry:

that they should believe on him, which should come after him, that is, on Jesus Christ; so that he preached faith in Christ, as well as repentance towards God; and made the one as well as the other a necessary prerequisite unto baptism; which shows, that his baptism and Christian baptism are the same.

Acts 17:30 and Matthew 11:21 - John Brine

With Respect, Sir, to what the Author [the Baxterian] observes of all Men being commanded to repent , it intends a forsaking of Idolatry, and embracing the Worship of the true God alone (Acts 17:30, 31). F3 The Distinction of natural and evangelical Repentance, of common and special Faith, which he before allowed, he now denies, and demands Proof that John the Baptist uses the Distinction, when he preached Repentance; I think, Sir, I may demand of him to prove that this Distinction, cannot take Place in his Discourses, since it is evidently found in Scripture; and if he is not able to give Proof that his Scope and Design, will not admit of this Distinction, however positive he may be, of being in the Right, at least, it is possible he may be in the wrong. I beg leave to observe to you, Sir, that our Saviour manifestly speaks of Repentance, when evangelical Repentance is not intended. The Place I now refer to is Matthew 11:21, they would have repented long ago in Sackcloth and Ashes . Upon no Scheme can Repentance here mean evangelical; it cannot upon the Calvinistical Scheme is certain, this is so evident that nothing is required to evince it. Nor can it intend such Repentance upon the Arminian and Baxterian Schemes, for if God foresaw that they would have repented, in Case such Works had been done among them, he would have wrought those Works in their View to bring them to Repentance; upon the Foresight of which, he decreed the Happiness of Men, according to these Schemes, and therefore this Writer, who is no Calvinist , but a Baxterian , I should think must grant that evangelical Repentance, is not there intended; for ‘tis strange to suppose God to decree the Happiness of Men, upon Condition of Repentance and Faith, and yet determine to withhold those Means from them, which he foresees would bring them to Repentance and Faith.

1 Timothy 1:19 - John Gill

1 Timothy 1:19

Ver. 19. Holding faith, and a good conscience..... By "faith" is meant, not the grace of faith, but the doctrine of faith, a sense in which it is often used in this epistle; see 1Ti 3:9 and the "holding" of it does not intend a mere profession of it, and a retaining of that without wavering, which is to be done by all believers; but a holding it forth in the ministry of the word, in opposition to a concealing or dropping it, or any part of it; and a holding it fast, without wavering, and in opposition to a departure from it or any cowardice about it and against all posers: to which must be added, a good conscience; the conscience is not naturally good, but is defiled by sin; and that is only good, which is sprinkled by the blood of Christ, and thereby purged from dead works; the effect of which is an holy, upright, and becoming conversation; and which seems to be chiefly intended here, and particularly the upright conduct and behaviour of the ministers of the Gospel, in the faithful discharge of their work and office: see 2Co 1:12.

Which some having put away; that is, a good conscience; and which does not suppose that they once had one, since that may be put away which was never had: the Jews, who blasphemed and contradicted, and never received the word of God, are said to put it from them, Ac 13:46 where the same word is used as here; and signifies to refuse or reject anything with detestation and contempt: these men always had an abhorrence to a good conscience among men, and to a good life and conversation, the evidence of it; and at length threw off the mask, and dropped the faith they professed, as being contrary to their evil conscience: though admitting it does suppose they once had a good conscience, it must be understood not of a conscience cleansed by the blood of Christ, but of a good conscience in external show only, or in comparison of what they afterwards appeared to have: and, besides, some men, destitute of the grace of God, may have a good conscience in some sense, or with respect to some particular facts, or to their general conduct and behaviour among men, as the Apostle Paul had while unregenerate, Ac 23:1 and which being acted against, or lost, is no instance of falling from the true grace of God, which this passage is sometimes produced in proof of:

concerning faith have made shipwreck; which designs not the grace, but the doctrine of faith, as before observed, which men may profess, and fall off from, and entirely drop and lose. Though supposing faith as a grace is meant, the phrase, "have made shipwreck of it", is not strong enough to prove the total and final falling away of true believers, could such be thought to be here meant; since persons may be shipwrecked, and not lost, the Apostle Paul was thrice shipwrecked, and each time saved; besides, as there is a true and unfeigned, so there is a feigned and counterfeit faith, which may be in persons who have no true grace, and may be shipwrecked, so as to be lost.

1 John 3:23 - John Gill

1 John 3:23

Ver. 23. And this is his commandment,.... Having mentioned the keeping of the commandments of God, the apostle proceeds to show what they are; that they are faith in Christ, and love to one another; which two are reduced to one, because they are inseparable; where the one is, the other is; faith works by love.

That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ; Christ is the object of faith, and he is no, as he is Jesus, a Saviour; faith deals with him as such, and will have no other Saviour but he: and now to believe in him, is not merely to believe that he is the Son of God, the true Messiah, the Saviour of the world, that he is come in the flesh, has suffered, and died, and rose again from the dead, is ascended into heaven, and is set down at the right hand of God, makes intercession for his people, and will come again to judge the quick and dead; but it is to go forth in special and spiritual acts upon him, such as looking at him, coming to him, venturing on him, trusting in him for life and salvation, committing all into his hands, and expecting all from him. And this is called a "commandment", and comes under the notion of one; not that it is properly a law, or belongs to the law; for faith in Christ Jesus is a fruit of electing grace, and a blessing of the covenant of grace; it is the free gift of God, and the operation of his Spirit, and is peculiar to the elect of God, and sheep of Christ; and so cannot belong to the law of works; but, as the Hebrew words, hrwt, and hwum, both signify any doctrine, and instruction in general; see Ps 19:7; so the word here used designs an evangelical doctrine, a divine instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Gospel, which declares that he that believes in Christ shall be saved; and so the word is used for a doctrine in this epistle, 1Jo 2:7; and that of the next command or doctrine, which follows,

and love one another as he gave us commandment; that is, as Christ taught and instructed his disciples, Joh 13:34.

The Distorted Gospel of Andrew Fuller

On the forgiveness of sins - Not already and actually forgiven
"Yet, to speak of sins as being pardoned before they are repented of, or even committed, is not only to maintain that on which the Scriptures are silent, but to contradict the current language of their testimony. If all our sins, past, present, and to come, were actually forgiven, either when Christ laid down his -life, or even on our first believing, why did David speak of 'confessing his transgression," and of God "forgiving his iniquity?" (Works, vol.1, p. 282).

On the Imputation of our sin to Christ - Only a transfer of the effects
"The acts and deeds of one may affect others, but can in no case, become actually theirs, or be so transferred as to render that justice which would otherwise have been of grace. The imputation of our sins to Christ, and of his righteousness to us, does not consist in a transfer of either the one or the other, except in their effects." (Works, vol. 1, p. 290)

On the Imputation of sin to Christ - Guilt is not transferred
"Finally, imputation ought not to be confounded with transfer ...In its figurative sense as applied to justification, it is righteousness itself that is imputed, but its effects only are transferred. So also in respect of sin, sin itself is the object of imputation; but neither this nor guilt is strictly speaking transferred, for neither of them is a transferable object. As all that is transferred in the imputation of righteousness is its beneficial effects, so all that is transferred in the imputation of is its penal effects... But perhaps, Mr. B. considers "a real and proper imputation of our sins to Christ," by which he seems to mean their being literally transferred to him, as essential to this doctrine; and if so, I acknowledge I do not at present believe it." (Works, vol. 2, pp.705, 706)

On Duty-faith - Universal warrant
"Faith In Jesus Christ, even that which is accompanied with salvation, is there (N.T.- ed.) constantly held up as the duty of all to whom the gospel is preached ... Though the Gospel, strictly speaking, is not a law, but a message of pure grace; yet virtually requires obedience and such an obedience as includes saving faith... If faith in Christ be the duty of the ungodly, It must of course follow that every sinner, whatever be his character, is completely warranted to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation on of his soul." (Works, vol. 2, pp. 345, 352)

On Total Depravity - Not unable in every respect
"If by total Mr. B. means unable in every respect, I grant I do not think man is, in that sense, totally inable to believe in Christ" (Works, vol. 2, P. 458).

Sep 11, 2010

Andrew Fuller and Fullerism

The following quotes and comments are from an article by Gery Schmidt titled "The Theological Foundation of the Modern Missionary Movement"

"...In coming to examine the works of Andrew Fuller, the extracts which follow will demonstrate beyond doubt that Fuller did not possess the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Fuller's works are characterized by confusion and subtlety. Indeed, pervading much of his theology is an unfounded and unwarranted paranoia of antinomianism. And it is this fear of antinomianism, I am convinced, what led Fuller to pervert the good news of Jesus Christ. We shall consider first some extracts from Fuller's three sermons on justification. In his first sermon he notes the following:

John Brown - An Example of Duty-faith and Opportunity Redemption among the Reformed

Here is a very clear example of the Universal-Potential Redeeming Grace teachings that can be found in reformed churches. John Brown writes in his Shorter Catechism,

"Q. Doth God command every man that hears the gospel to take his gift Christ out of his hand ?—A. Yes ; under pain of his most dreadful wrath, 1 John iii. 23.

Q. What mean you by Christ's offer of himself?—A. His holding forth himself as able and willing to save, and inviting sinners to receive salvation from him.

Q. To whom doth Christ offer himself?—A. To every one that hears the gospel, without exception, Prov. viii. 4.

Q. In what manner is Christ offered in the gospel ?—A. Fully, freely, earnestly, and indefinitely, Isa. lv..."

John Brown teaching

"Q. How is Christ offered indefinitely ?—A. The gospeloffer of him suits every hearer's case as exactly as if he was named in it, Rev. iii. 17, 18.

Q. What do you understand by embracing of Christ as offered in the gospel 1—A. A particular persuasion that Christ in the promise is mine; and made of God to me wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; and trusting on his word, that he will act up to all his saving characters to me in order to promote my everlasting salvation..."

"Q. How do we receive him in agreeableness to his being indefinitely offered?—A. By applying the offer as particularly to ourselves as if it had pointed us out by name, and were not to another, Gal. ii. 20."

Read more Here

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions