Saturday, 17 June 2017

The problem of antinomianism: separation of God's law from God's person

    At one level the problem is indeed rejection of God's law. But underneath lies a failure to understand grace and ultimately to understand God. True, his love for me is not based on my qualification or my preparation. But it is misleading to say that God accepts us the way we are. Rather he accepts us despite the way we are. He receives us only in Christ and for Christ's sake. Nor does he mean to leave us the way he found us, but to transform us into the likeness of his Son. Without that transformation and new conformity of life we do not have any evidence that we were ever his in the first place.
    At root then antinomianism separates God's law from God's person, and grace from the union with Christ in which the law is written in the heart. In doing so it jeopardizes not simply the Decalogue; it dismantles the truth of the gospel.
        -- Sinclair Ferguson, The Whole Christ, p154 (italics original)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

right doctrine but wrong spirit

'One of my own saddest recollections in pastoral ministry is of being told that during a new members' welcome that included a young husband with "a past," two "pillars of the church," esteemed for the model way in which they fulfilled all church membership responsibilities, were overheard to say, "What's he doing joining the church?" How easy it is to fall into a spirit of conditional grace toward prodigals even when the right doctrinal notes are struck!' - Sinclair Ferguson, The Whole Christ, p73fn35

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Loving the church, loving Jesus

"Don't kid yourself that you love the church, or even that you love Jesus, if you're not prepared to love the particular people he has put you in fellowship with." - p147, Covenant Made Simple by Jonty Rhodes

Thursday, 19 January 2017

that they may dare boldly to do all things by God's Word

Here, then, is the sovereign power with which the pastors of the church, by whatever name they be called, ought to be endowed. That is that they may dare boldly to do all things by God’s Word; may compel all worldly power, glory, wisdom, and exaltation to yield to and obey his majesty; supported by his power, may command all from the highest even to the last; may build up Christ’s household and cast down Satan’s; may feed the sheep and drive away the wolves; my instruct and exhort the teachable; may accuse, rebuke, and subdue the rebellious and stubborn; may bind and loose; finally, if need be, may launch thunderbolts and lightnings; but do all things in God’s Word. – Calvin, Institutes IV.Viii.9.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Public Worship for Christians

"... believers have no greater help than public worship, for by it God raises his own folk upward step by step."  - Calvin, Institutes IV.i.5