Author Archives: tollelege

About tollelege

"Tolle Lege" is Latin for "Take up and read." He who has ears, let him hear!

“Gospel truth is the only root whereon gospel holiness will grow” by John Owen

“These things are inseparable. Gospel truth is the only root whereon gospel holiness will grow.”

–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Volume 7: Sin and Grace (ed. William H. Goold; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1850-53/1997), 7: 188.

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Filed under Christian Theology, grace, Holiness, Jesus Christ, John Owen, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sanctification, Sin, The Gospel, Union with Christ

“Beat it into their heads continually” by Martin Luther

“Just as our opponents refuse to concede to us the freedom that faith in Christ alone justifies, so we refuse to concede to them, in turn, that faith formed by love justifies. Here we intend and are obliged to be rebellious and stubborn with them, for otherwise we would lose the truth of the Gospel.

We would lose that freedom which we have, not in the emperor or in kings and princes or in the pope or in the world or in the flesh, but in Christ Jesus.

We would lose faith in Christ, which, as I have said, takes hold of nothing but Christ, the Jewel. If our opponents will let us keep intact this faith by which we are born again, justified, and incorporated into Christ, we are willing to do anything for them that is not contrary to this faith.

But because we cannot obtain this concession from them, we for our part will not budge the least little bit. For the issue before us is grave and vital; it involves the death of the Son of God, who, by the will and commandment of the Father, became flesh, was crucified, and died for the sins of the world.

If faith yields on this point, the death of the Son of God will be in vain. Then it is only a fable that Christ is the Savior of the world. Then God is a liar, for He has not lived up to His promises.

Therefore our stubbornness on this issue is pious and holy; for by it we are striving to preserve the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to keep the truth of the Gospel.

If we lose this, we lose God, Christ, all the promises, faith, righteousness, and eternal life.

But here someone will say: ‘But the Law is divine and holy.’ Let the Law have its glory. But no Law, no matter how divine or holy, has the right to tell me that I obtain justification and life through it.

I will grant that it can teach me that I should love God and my neighbor, and live in chastity, patience, etc.; but it is in no position to show me how to be delivered from sin, the devil, death, and hell.

For this I must consult the Gospel and listen to the Gospel, which does not teach me what I should do—for that is the proper function of the Law—but what someone else has done for me, namely, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has suffered and died to deliver me from sin and death.

The Gospel commands me to accept and believe this, and this is what is called ‘the truth of the Gospel.’ It is also the main doctrine of Christianity, in which the knowledge of all godliness is comprehended.

It is, therefore, extremely necessary that we should know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.”

–Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4 (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 26; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 90–91. Luther is commenting on Galatians 2:5.

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Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Galatians, grace, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Church, The Gospel

“Let us give equal reverence to all the persons in the Trinity” by Thomas Watson

“If there be one God subsisting in three persons, then let us give equal reverence to all the persons in the Trinity. There is not more or less in the Trinity.

The Father is not more God than the Son and Holy Ghost. There is an order in the Godhead, but no degrees.

One person hath not a majority or supereminency above another, therefore we must give equal worship to all the Persons: John 5:23: ‘That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.'”

–Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity Contained in Sermons Upon the Westminster Assembly’s Catechism (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1692/1970), 112.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel, Thomas Watson, Trinity, Worship

“It is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul” by Charles Spurgeon

“Remember, therefore, it is not thy hold of Christ that saves thee—it is Christ.

It is not thy joy in Christ that saves thee—it is Christ.

It is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits.

Therefore, look not so much to thy hand with which thou art grasping Christ, as to Christ.

Look not to thy hope, but to Jesus, the source of thy hope.

Look not to thy faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of thy faith.

We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings.

It is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.

If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by ‘looking unto Jesus,’ (Hebrews 12:2).

Keep thine eye simply on Him.

Let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind.

When thou wakest in the morning look to Him.

When thou liest down at night look to Him.”

–Charles Spurgeon, “June 28 –  Morning” in Morning and Evening (Geanies House, Fearn, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus, 1994),  378.

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Filed under Bible, Charles Spurgeon, Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, Perseverance, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sanctification, The Gospel

“Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ” by A.W. Tozer

“To be specific, the self-sins are these: self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love, and a host of others like them. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures to come to our attention until the light of God is focused upon them.

The grosser manifestations of these sins – egotism, exhibitionism, self-promotion – are strangely tolerated in Christian leaders, even in circles of impeccable orthodoxy. They are so much in evidence as actually, for many people, to become identified with the gospel.

I trust it is not a cynical observation to say that they appear these days to be a requisite for popularity in some sections of the church visible.

Promoting self under the guise of promoting Christ is currently so common as to excite little notice.”

–A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, in Three Spiritual Classics in One Volume (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1948), 253.

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Filed under A.W. Tozer, Christian Theology, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sin, Worldliness

“In this consists every bit of our blessedness” by Petrus Van Mastricht

“Saving faith is nothing other than the act of the whole rational soul by which it receives God as the highest end and Christ as the one and only Mediator, for this purpose, that we may be united with Him, and being thus united obtain communion with all His benefits…

The end or fruit of this faith or reception, namely, union and communion with Christ, is contained in that one word ‘adoption,’ since by the reception of Christ we who have been made His brothers are rendered heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. And in this consists every bit of our blessedness.”

–Petrus Van Mastricht, Theoretical-Practical Theology: Faith in the Triune God, Volume 2, Trans. Todd Rester, Ed. Joel Beeke (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 1698/2019), 2: 5-6.

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“The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the Scriptures” by John Flavel

“The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the Scriptures; the scope and center of all divine revelations: both Testaments meet in Christ.

The ceremonial law is full of Christ, and all the gospel is full of Christ: the blessed lines of both Testaments meet in Him.

And how they both harmonize, and sweetly concentrate on Jesus Christ, is the chief scope of that excellent epistle to the Hebrews. For we may call that epistle the sweet harmony of both Testaments.

The right knowledge of Jesus Christ, like a clue, leads you through the whole labyrinth of the Scriptures.”

–John Flavel, The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 1: 34.

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