Category Archives: Christian Theology

“The gospel is the best news that ears ever heard” by Thomas Goodwin

“Our commission is to tell this message to all and every man in the world. And upon this ground, that reconciliation is to be obtained from God for them, to entreat them to be reconciled.

And when men accordingly seek it, as thus revealed to them, though by us, it is as if God had done it:

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”(2 Cor. 5:20-21)

‘As though God,’ and, ‘I in Christ’s stead,’ says the apostle.

And this, my brethren, is to preach the gospel unto men, which is the best news that ears ever heard, or tongues were employed to utter, which took up God’s thoughts from eternity, and which lay hid in His breast, which none but He and His Son knew, which, if it were but for the antiquity of the story of it, it is worth the relating, it being the greatest plot and state affair that ever was transacted in heaven or earth, or ever will be.”

–Thomas Goodwin, “The One Sacrifice,” The Works of Thomas Goodwin, Volume 5 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage, 1862/2006), 5: 482.

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“The heaven of grace prevails and rules” by Martin Luther

“The psalmist uses the word ‘prevail’ (Ps. 117:2); that is, God’s grace ‘rules’ over us. It is a kingdom of grace that is more powerful in and over us than all anger, sin, and evil. ‘Prevail,’ גָּבַר in Hebrew, means to be supreme, to be great.

You must think of the kingdom of grace as a child might, in this way: God, through the Gospel, has set a new and great heaven over us who believe, and this is called the heaven of grace. It is far, far more immense and beautiful than this visible heaven; and it is eternal, certain, and indestructible as well.

Although sin makes itself felt, death bares its teeth, and the devil frightens us, still there is far more grace to prevail over all sin, far more life to prevail over death, and far more God to prevail over all devils.

In this kingdom sin, death, and the devil are nothing more than the black clouds of the material heaven. For a time they may well conceal heaven, but they cannot prevail. They must stay beneath the heavens and suffer it to remain, prevail, and rule over them; and at last they must pass away.

Therefore although sin bites us, death frightens us, and the devil throws his weight around with temptation, these are still only clouds. The heaven of grace prevails and rules; in the end they must remain below and surrender.

This cannot come through works, but only through the faith which is certain that such a heaven of grace is above it, without works, and which looks to this heaven as often as it sins or feels sin, comforting itself without merit or works.”

–Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 14: Selected Psalms III (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 14; Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1999), 14: 27. Luther is commenting on Psalm 117.

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“Theology has lost its way” by Donald Macleod

“Theology has lost its way, and indeed its very soul, if it cannot say with John, ‘When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead’ (Rev. 1:17).”

—Donald Macleod, Behold Your God (Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 1995), 52.

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“Here joy begins to enter into us but there we shall enter into joy” by Thomas Watson

“If God gives His people such joy in this life, oh! then, what glorious joy will He give them in heaven! ‘Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,’ (Matt. 25:21)

Here joy begins to enter into us. There we shall enter into joy.

God keeps His best wine till last. What joy when the soul shall forever bathe itself in the pure and pleasant fountain of God’s love? What joy to see the brightness of Christ’s face?

Oh! If a cluster of grapes here be so sweet, what will the full vintage be?

How may this set us all a longing for that place where sorrow cannot live, and where joy cannot die!”

–Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity Contained in Sermons Upon the Westminster Assembly’s Catechism (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1692/1970), 272-273.

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“The oil of joy makes the wheels of obedience move faster” by Thomas Watson

“The oil of joy makes the wheels of obedience move faster.

Christ died to purchase this joy for His saints: He was a man of sorrow that we may be full of joy.

He prays that the saints may have this divine joy, ‘And now I come to Thee, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves,’ (John 17:13).

And this prayer He now prays in heaven. He knows we never love Him so much as when we feel His love, which may encourage us to seek after this joy.

We pray for that which Christ Himself is praying for when we pray that His joy may be fulfilled in us.”

–Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity Contained in Sermons Upon the Westminster Assembly’s Catechism (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1692/1970), 271.

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“He lives to make you everlastingly happy” by Thomas Manton

“Christ is a fit object for worship and service.

Every being is the more noble the more life it hath in it; the life of things is the commendation of them: Eccles. 9:4, ‘A living dog is better than a dead lion;’ better, that is, more noble.

Now, since Christ hath the noblest and the highest being, he liveth forever. The Scriptures often call upon us to trust in the living God: Ps. 42:2, ‘My soul thirsteth for the living God.’

Who would go to the dead cistern, and leave the living fountain? Alas! what is a man the better for a dead idol? All the satisfaction of the spirit lieth in the life of him whom we worship.

Now Christ is not only living, but living forever. Your hopes in Him will not run waste.

A prince, whose breath is in his nostrils, may uphold his favourites during his life, but upon his death they may be brought from the crown of their excellency to the dust of scorn and ignominy.

But Jesus Christ never dieth. As Bathsheba said to David, 1 Kings 1:21, ‘When my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.’ All their care and cost is lost.

But it cannot be so with Jesus Christ. He lives to make you everlastingly happy.”

–Thomas Manton, “A Practical Exposition Upon the 53rd Chapter of Isaiah,” The Works of Thomas Manton, Vol. 3 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1870/2020), 3: 360.

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“Other Psalms have been mere lakes, but this is the main ocean” by Charles Spurgeon

“I have been all the longer over this portion of my task because I have been bewildered in the expanse of the One Hundred and Nineteenth Psalm, which makes up the bulk of this volume. Its dimensions and its depth alike overcame me.

It spread itself out before me like a vast, rolling prairie, to which I could see no bound, and this alone created a feeling of dismay. Its expanse was unbroken by a bluff or headland, and hence it threatened a monotonous task, although the fear has not been realized.

This marvelous poem seemed to me a great sea of holy teaching, moving, in its many verses, wave upon wave; altogether without an island of special and remarkable statement to break it up.

I confess I hesitated to launch upon it. Other Psalms have been mere lakes, but this is the main ocean. It is a continent of sacred thought, every inch of which is fertile as the garden of the Lord: it is an amazing level of abundance, a mighty stretch of harvest-fields.

I have now crossed the great plain for myself, but not without persevering, and, I will add, pleasurable, toil. Several great authors have traversed this region and left their tracks behind them, and so far the journey has been all the easier for me; but yet to me and to my helpers it has been no mean feat of patient authorship and research.

This great Psalm is a book in itself: instead of being one among many Psalms, it is worthy to be set forth by itself as a poem of surpassing excellence.

Those who have never studied it may pronounce it commonplace, and complain of its repetitions; but to the thoughtful student it is like the great deep, full, so as never to be measured; and varied, so as never to weary the eye.

Its depth is as great as its length; it is mystery, not set forth as mystery, but concealed beneath the simplest statements.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119, Volume 5 (London: Marshall Brothers, 1882), 5: v.

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