Holy and true,
Who opens and none can shut,
As You have set before Your church an open door,
Strengthen Your servants to boldly enter in
And to declare Your name,
That they who oppose may yet come to worship
And may know that You love Your church.
Grant to Your people patience to keep Your Word,
And keep them from the hour of trial which is coming
Upon the whole world to try them who dwell on the earth,
And encourage all Christians in every land
To hold fast that which You have given,
That the crown of glory be not taken away,
But that having overcome, they may stand before You
As pillars in the temple of God
And bear the name of the heavenly city
And Your own new name, O Christ our God.
Father, we commend to You all who are joined to us
By natural bonds of love;
The little children dear to our hearts,
And all who for our sakes daily deny themselves.
May all our kindred,
Having Your Holy Spirit as their helper,
Be at peace and have unfeigned love among themselves.
And grant them, O Lord, not only what is sufficient to supply
The needs of this present life but also the good
And eternal gifts that are laid up for them who do Your commandments
Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord.
–Columba, as quoted in Sinclair Ferguson, Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings For Advent(Epsom, U.K.: Good Book Company, 2018), 155-156.
Filed under Advent, Christian Theology, Christology, Church Fathers, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Missions, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sinclair Ferguson, Sovereignty, Suffering, The Gospel
“The cross and the empty tomb tell us something. They prove that all of God’s promises can be trusted.
For the promise that His Son would suffer in our place (Isaiah 53:4-6) was surely the hardest promise the Father ever made. And He kept it. In fact, says Paul, ‘all the promises of God find their Yes in Him (2 Corinthians 1:20)’.
What does God promise to you this Christmas and beyond?
He promises to forgive all your sins when you turn from them.
He promises always to hear you when you call to Him.
He promises only to work for your good.
He promises to walk alongside you through all the hard times, and bring you safely into His presence in heaven.
If you love Him, you will trust Him.
How? By remembering that God has already kept His hardest-to-keep promise in Christ— from His makeshift cradle to His empty grave.”
–Sinclair Ferguson, Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings For Advent (Epsom, U.K.: Good Book Company, 2018), 101.
Filed under Advent, Christian Theology, Christology, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sinclair Ferguson, Sovereignty, Suffering, The Gospel
“We share one bundle of life with Christ in what He has done. All that He has accomplished for us in our human nature is, through union with Him, true for us and, in a sense, of us.
He ‘died to sin, once for all’; ‘He lives to God’ (Romans 6:10). He came under the dominion of sin in death, but death could not master Him.
He rose and broke the power of both sin and death. Now He lives forever in resurrection life to God. The same is as true of us as if we had been with Him on the cross, in the tomb, and on the resurrection morning!
We miss the radical nature of Paul’s teaching here to our great loss.
So startling is it that we need to find a startling manner of expressing it. For what Paul is saying is that sanctification means this: in relationship to sin and to God, the determining factor of my existence is no longer my past. It is Christ’s past.
The basic framework for my new existence in Christ is that I have become a ‘dead man brought to life’ and must think of myself in those terms: dead to sin and alive to God in union with Jesus Christ our Lord.”
–Sinclair Ferguson, “Christian Spirituality: The Reformed View of Sanctification,” in Some Pastors and Teachers (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2017), 533.
Filed under Assurance, Christian Theology, Christology, Incarnation, Jesus Christ, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Resurrection, Romans, salvation, Sanctification, Sinclair Ferguson, The Gospel
“Because Christ bears our name and our nature even the weakest believer may look to Christ and find assurance of grace and salvation in Him.
Here Calvin’s exposition of the Gospels’ testimony is profound and telling: Jesus’ ministry reveals to us the humanity of a Saviour who can be trusted, who understands, and who is able to bring reassurance of the adequacy and fittingness of His grace.
Much of what He does and experiences is intended to show us how near to us He came. The revelation of His frailty and weakness is all intended to assure us that He is one with us and has taken our place.”
–Sinclair Ferguson, “Manifested in the Flesh: The Reality of the Incarnation,” in Some Pastors and Teachers (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2017), 81.
“Like many others I owe an incalculable debt to William Still for the way in which he invested himself in me from my earliest encounter with him in my teenage years until his death in 1997. Particular conversations with him return to the front of my memory as I think of him now—and with respect to the work of the pastor none more clearly than the occasion on which he said to me, quietly:
‘I never preach now without believing that something will be done that will last for eternity.’
With some sense of the extent to which his ministry had that kind of effect on my own life, I recall thinking ‘That is the measure of faith I too need to have.’ The words have lingered with me now for four decades and been a constant reminder to me of Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s wise comment that it is not ‘many words’ but ‘words spoken in faith’ that God blesses.”
–Sinclair Ferguson, “Foreword,” in William Still, The Work of the Pastor (Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, IV20 1TW, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 1984/2010), 9.