Category Archives: salvation

“Every link in the chain of salvation is wrought and interwoven with free grace” by Thomas Watson

“All the mercy in the creature is derived from God, and is but a drop of this ocean. The mercy and pity a mother hath to her child is from God.

God is called, ‘The Father of mercies,’ (2 Cor. 1:3) because He begets all the mercies in the world. If God hath put any kindness into the creature, how much kindness is in Him who is the Father of mercy?

God’s mercy, as it makes the saints happy, so it should make them humble. Mercy is not the fruit of our goodness, but the fruit of God’s goodness.

Mercy is an alms that God bestows. They have no cause to be proud who live upon the alms of God’s mercy. ‘If I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head,’ (Job 10:15). All my righteousness is the effect of God’s mercy, therefore I will be humble, and will not lift up my head.

Mercy stays the speedy execution of God’s justice. Sinners continually provoke God, and make His fury come up in His face (Ezek. 38:18). Why is it that God does not presently arrest and condemn them? It is not because God cannot do it, for He is armed with omnipotence. It is because of God’s mercy.

Mercy gets a reprieve for the sinner, and stops the speedy process of justice. God would, by His goodness, lead sinners to repentance. It is only mercy that saves the sinner.

I might shew you several species or kinds of mercy: preventing mercy, sparing mercy, supplying mercy, guiding mercy, accepting mercy, healing mercy, quickening mercy, supporting mercy, forgiving mercy, correcting mercy, comforting mercy, delivering mercy, and crowning mercy.

God’s mercy is free. To set up merit is to destroy mercy. Nothing can deserve mercy, because we are polluted in our blood. We may force God to punish us, not to love us: ‘I will love them freely,’ (Hos. 14:4).

Every link in the chain of salvation is wrought and interwoven with free grace.

Election is free: ‘He hath chosen us in Him… according to the good pleasure of His will,’ (Eph. 1:4-5).

Justification is free: ‘Being justified freely by His grace,’ (Rom. 3:24).

Salvation is free: ‘According to His mercy He saved us,’ (Titus 3:5).

Mercy is free. If God should show mercy only to such as are worthy, then He would show none at all.

God’s mercy is an overflowing mercy. It is infinite: ‘Plenteous in mercy,’ (Ps. 86:5); ‘Rich in mercy,’ (Eph. 2:4); ‘Multitude of Thy mercies,’ (Ps. 51:1).

The vial of wrath doth but drop, but the fountain of mercy runs. The sun is not so full of light as God is full of mercy.

God hath morning-mercies: ‘They are new every morning,’ (Lam. 3:23). God hath night-mercies: ‘In the night his song shall be with me,’ (Ps. 42:8).

God hath mercies under heaven, those we taste of; and in heaven, those we hope for.

God’s mercy is eternal: ‘The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting,’ (Ps. 103:17). It is repeated twenty-six times in one psalm, ‘His mercy endureth forever,’ (Ps. 136).

The souls of the blessed shall be ever bathing themselves in this sweet and pleasant ocean of God’s mercy. God’s anger to His children lasts but a while (Ps. 103:17), but His mercy lasts forever.

As long as He is God He will be shewing mercy. As His mercy is overflowing, so it is everflowing.”

–Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity Contained in Sermons Upon the Westminster Assembly’s Catechism (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1692/1970), 95-96.

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“The priceless merit of His sufferings” by J.C. Ryle

“We must not be content with a vague general belief, that Christ’s sufferings on the cross were vicarious. We are intended to see this truth in every part of His passion.

We may follow Him all through, from the bar of Pilate, to the minute of His death, and see Him at every step as our mighty Substitute, our Representative, our Head, our Surety, our Proxy, the Divine Friend who undertook to stand in our stead, and by the priceless merit of His sufferings, to purchase our redemption.

Was He scourged? It was that ‘through His stripes we might be healed.’

Was He condemned, though innocent? It was that we might be acquitted though guilty.

Did He wear a crown of thorns? It was that we might wear the crown of glory.

Was He stripped of His raiment? It was that we might be clothed in everlasting righteousness.

Was He mocked and reviled? It was that we might be honored and blessed.

Was He reckoned a malefactor, and numbered among transgressors? It was that we might be reckoned innocent, and justified from all sin.

Was He declared unable to save Himself? It was that He might be able to save others to the uttermost.

Did He die at last, and that the most painful and disgraceful of deaths? It was that we might live forevermore, and be exalted to the highest glory.

Let us ponder these things well. They are worth remembering.”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1856/2012), 314. Ryle is commenting on Matthew 27:45-56.

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“You can never love Him as He has loved you” by Charles Spurgeon

“Our Lord Jesus was not only in the brunt of danger, and in the faintness of His agony, but He was in full prospect of a cruel death. He knew all that was to be done to Him.

When you and I have to suffer, we do not know what is before us; it is a happy circumstance that we do not.

But Jesus knew that they would buffet Him. He knew that they would blindfold Him. He knew that they would spit in His face. He knew that they would scourge Him. He knew that the crown of thorns would tear His temples.

He knew that He would be led forth like a malefactor, bearing the gibbet on His shoulder. He knew that they would nail His feet and hands to the cruel cross.

He knew that He would cry, “I thirst.” He knew that His Father must forsake Him on account of the sin of man that would be laid upon Him.

He knew all that. These huge Atlantic billows of grief cast their spray in His face already, His lips were salty with the brine of His coming grief.

But He did not think of that! His one thought was for His beloved, those whom His Father had given Him. Till He dies, He will keep His eye on His sheep, and He will grasp His Shepherd’s crook with which to drive the foe from them.

Oh, the all-absorbing, self-consuming love of Christ! Do you know that love, beloved? If so, let your hearts reciprocate it, loving Him in return with all the strength of your life, and all the wealth of your being.

Even then you can never love Him as He has loved you. O faulty saints, you who do love Him, and yet often fail Him, you who do trust Him, and yet are oftentimes dismayed, gather strength, I pray you, from this wonderful love of Jesus!

Is not the love of Christ a mass of miracles, all wonders packed together?

It is not a subject for surprise that He should love, but that He should love such worms as we are, that He should love us when we were dead in trespasses and sins, that He should love us into life, should love us despite our faults, should love us to perfection, and should love us until He brings us to share His glory.

Rejoice, then, in this wondrous care of Christ,—the dying Christ with a living care for His disciples.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Living Care of the Dying Christ,” in Majesty in Misery: Select Sermons on the Passion of Christ, Volume 1: Dark Gethsemane (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2005), 222-223. [MTPS, 40: 316-317]

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“He may preach the gospel better than I can, but he cannot preach a better gospel” by Charles Spurgeon

“Dear friends, do not imagine that God will bless one preacher only, or one denomination only. He does bless some preachers more than others, for He is Sovereign; but He will bless you all in your work, for He is God.

I shall never forget one day, when my dear old grandfather was alive, I was to preach a sermon. There was a great crowd of people, and I did not arrive, for the train was delayed; and therefore the venerable man commenced to preach in my stead.

He was far on in his sermon when I made my appearance at the door. Looking to me, he said: “You have all come to hear my dear grandson, and therefore I will stop that you may hear him. He may preach the gospel better than I can, but he cannot preach a better gospel. Can you, Charles?”

My answer from the aisle was: “I cannot preach the gospel better; but if I could, it would not be a better gospel.”

So it is, brethren: others may break the bread to more people, but they cannot break better bread than the gospel which you teach, for that is bread from our Saviour’s own hand.

Get to work each one of you with your bread-breaking, for this is Christ’s way of feeding the multitude.

Let each one who has himself eaten divide his morsel with another.

Today fill someone’s ear with the good news of Jesus and His love.

Endeavour this day, each one of you who are Christian people, to communicate to one man, woman, or child, somewhat of the spiritual meat which has made your soul glad.

This is my Master’s way.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Problem of the Age,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (Vol. 32; London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1886), 32: 96.

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“The resurrection of Christ is the ‘Amen’ of the Father upon the ‘Finished’ of the Son” by Herman Bavinck

“The resurrection is the day of Christ’s crowning. He was Son and Messiah already before His incarnation. He was that also in His humiliation. But then His inner being was hidden under the form of a servant.

Now, however, God openly cries out and declares Him to be Lord and Christ, Prince and Savior. Now Christ takes up again that glory which He had before with the Father (John 17:5).

After this He takes on ‘another form,’ another figure, a different form of existence. He who was dead has become alive, and lives in all eternity, and He has the keys of heaven and of hell (Rev. 1:18).

He is the Prince of life, the source of salvation, and the one appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead.

Further, the resurrection of Christ is a fountain of good for His church and for the whole world. It is the ‘Amen‘ of the Father upon the ‘Finished‘ of the Son.

Christ was delivered up for our sins and raised for our justification (Rom. 4:25).”

–Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith or The Wonderful Works of God (trans. Henry Zylstra; Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2016), 350-351.

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“The more Trinitarian the salvation, the sweeter it is” by Michael Reeves

“As the oil ran down Aaron’s head to his body (cf. Psalm 133:1-2; Lev. 8:12), so the Spirit would run down from Christ over our Head to His Body, the church. Thus we become ‘partakers of His anointing’ (Heidelberg Catechism, #32).

The Spirit, through whom the Father had eternally loved His Son, would now anoint believers ‘that they may be one as we are one’ (John 17:22). One with the Lord, one with each other.

This is salvation with jam on top. In fact, the more Trinitarian the salvation, the sweeter it is.

For it is not just that we are brought before the Father in the Son; we receive the Spirit with which He was anointed. Jesus said in John 16:14 that the Spirit ‘will bring glory to Me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.’

The Spirit takes what is the Son’s and makes it ours. When the Spirit rested upon the Son at His baptism, Jesus heard the Father declare from heaven: ‘You are My Son, whom I love; with You I am well pleased.’

But not that same Spirit of sonship rests on me, the same words apply to me: in Christ my high priest I am an adopted, beloved, Spirit-anointed son. As Jesus says to the Father in John 17:23, You ‘have loved them even as You have loved Me.’

And so, as the Son brings me before His Father, with their Spirit in me can boldly cry, ‘Abba,’ for their fellowship I now freely share: the Most High my Father, the Son my great brother, the Spirit no longer Jesus’ Comforter alone, but mine.

–Michael Reeves, Delighting In The Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012), 74-75.

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“There we shall see” by Thomas Boston

“In the general assembly of the firstborn in heaven, none of all the saints, whoever were or will be on the earth, shall be missing.

They will all be together in one place, all possess one kingdom, and all sit down together to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

There we shall see Adam and Eve in the heavenly paradise freely eating of the tree of life.

There we shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the holy patriarchs, no more wandering from land to land, but come to their everlasting rest.

There we shall see all the prophets feasting their eyes on the glory of Him, of whose coming they prophesied.

There we shall see the twelve apostles of the Lamb, sitting on their twelve thrones.

There we shall see all the holy martyrs in their long white robes, with their crowns on their heads.

There we shall see the godly kings advanced to a kingdom which cannot be moved.

There we shall see those that turn many to righteousness, shining as the stars forever and ever.

There we shall see our godly friends, relations, and acquaintances, pillars in the temple of God, to go no more out from us.

There we shall have society with the Lord Himself in heaven, glorious communion with God in Christ, which is the perfection of happiness.

There we shall not only see, but ‘eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God,’ (Rev. 2:7).

There we shall behold the Mediator’s glory, and be satisfied with His goodness. No flaming sword shall be there, to keep the way of that tree of life; but we shall freely eat of it, and live forever.

We shall ‘drink of the river of pleasures,‘ (Psalm 36:8) the sweetest and purest pleasures which Immanuel’s land affords.

And we shall swim in an ocean of unmixed delight forevermore.

Who can conceive the happiness of the saints in the presence chamber of the great King?

There we shall see Jesus Christ, God and man with our bodily eyes, as He will never lay aside the human nature.

There we shall behold that glorious blessed body, which is personally united to the divine nature, and exalted above principalities and powers, and every name that is named.

There we shall see, with our eyes, that very body which was born of Mary at Bethlehem, and crucified at Jerusalem between two thieves.

There we shall see the blessed head that was crowned with thorns, the face that was spit upon, the hands and feet that were nailed to the cross, all shining with inconceivable glory.

Were each star in the heavens shining as the sun in its meridian brightness, it might possibly be some faint resemblance of the glory of the man Christ.

The wise men fell down, and worshipped Him, when they saw Him ‘a young child, with Mary His mother in the house.’ But O what a ravishing sight will it be to see Him in His kingdom, to see Him on His throne, to see Him at the Father’s right hand!

The Word was made flesh,’ (John 1:14), and the glory of God shall shine through that flesh, and the joys of heaven spring out from it, unto the saints, who shall see and enjoy God in Christ.

There we shall behold Him, who died for us, that we might live forevermore, whose matchless love made Him swim through the Red Sea of God’s wrath, to make a path in the midst of it for us, by which we might pass safely to Canaan’s land.

Then we shall see what a glorious one He was, who suffered all this for us, what entertainment He had in the upper house, what hallelujahs of angels could not hinder Him to hear the groans of a perishing multitude on earth, and to come down for their help, and what glory He laid aside for us.

Then we shall be more ‘able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,’ (Eph. 3:18, 19).

There we shall remember the waters of wrath which He was plunged into, and the wells of salvation from whence we draw all our joy.

There we shall remember we received the cup of salvation in exchange for the cup of wrath His Father gave Him to drink, which His sinless human nature shivered at.

Then shall our hearts leap within us, burn with seraphic love, like coals of juniper, and the arch of heaven ring with our songs of salvation!”

–Thomas Boston, The Whole Works of Thomas Boston: Human Nature in Its Fourfold State and a View of the Covenant of Grace (ed. Samuel M‘Millan; vol. 8; Aberdeen: George and Robert King, 1850), 8: 328, 330, 326, 331, 332-333, 333-334.

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