Tag Archives: Christian Theology

“God is His own blessedness” by John Gill

“God is His own blessedness; it is wholly within Himself and of Himself: He receives none from without himself, or from His creatures; nothing that can add to His happiness; and He himself is the blessedness of His creatures, who are made happy by Him; whose blessedness lies in likeness to Him; which is begun in this life, in regeneration; when new-born souls are made partakers of the divine nature, is increased by sights of the glory of God in Christ, and will be perfected in the future state, when they shall awake in His likeness, and bear His image in a more perfect manner; and also it lies in communion with God; it is the happiness of saints now, and what they exult in, when they enjoy it, that their fellowship is with the Father, and His Son Jesus Christ; and it will be the blessedness of the New Jerusalem state, that the tabernacle of God will be with men, and He will dwell with them; and of the ultimate glory the saints shall then have, everlasting and uninterrupted communion with Father, Son, and Spirit, and partake of endless pleasures in the divine presence: and it will, moreover, lie in the vision of God: which, because of the happiness of it, is usually called the beatific vision; when they shall ‘see God for themselves, and not another;’ see Him as He is in Christ, and behold the glory of Christ; see no more darkly through a glass, but face to face, and know as they are known.”

–John Gill, A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity: Or A System of Evangelical Truths, Deduced from the Sacred Scriptures (vol. 1, New Edition.; Tegg & Company, 1839), 1: 179.

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“The greatest thing a minister of the gospel or a professor of theology can do for others” by Steven J. Duby

“Finally, that theologia is not immediately practical and certainly not oriented to questions of technique and efficiency is in fact one of its salutary aspects.

Contemporary preoccupation (even in the church and in academic programs preparatory for church ministry) with ‘mission statements,’ ‘measurable outcomes,’ and the like needs to be relativized by the joy of knowing the triune God.

It needs to be relativized by a strong sense of the fact that the greatest thing a minister of the gospel or a professor of theology can do for others is to communicate faithfully about the rich wisdom and goodness and holiness and love of the triune God—and their free and gracious exercise in the economy.”

–Steven J. Duby, God in Himself: Scripture, Metaphysics, and the Task of Christian Theology (Studies in Christian Doctrine and Scripture; London: Apollos, 2020), 295.

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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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“You have never yet had half an idea, or the tithe of an idea, of how precious you are to Christ” by Charles Spurgeon

“It is in our Lord’s prayer, when He is in the inner sanctuary speaking with the Father, that we have these words, ‘All mine are thine, and thine are mine.’ (John 17:10)

Here is the Son speaking to the Father, not about thrones and royalties, nor cherubim and seraphim, but about poor men and women, in those days mostly fishermen and peasant folk, who believed on Him.

They are talking about these people, and the Son is taking His own solace with the Father in their secret privacy by talking about these precious jewels, these dear ones that are their peculiar treasure.

You have not any notion how much God loves you.

Dear brother, dear sister, you have never yet had half an idea, or the tithe of an idea, of how precious you are to Christ.

You think, because you are so imperfect, and you fall so much below your own ideal, that, therefore, He does not love you much; you think that He cannot do so.

Have you ever measured the depth of Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, and of His death on Calvary? If you have tried to do so, you will be quite sure that, apart from anything in you or about you, He loves you with a love that passeth knowledge.

Believe it. ‘But I do not love Him as I should,’ I think, I hear you say. No, and you never will unless you first know His love to you.

Believe it; believe it to the highest degree, that He so loves you that, when there is no one who can commune with Him but the Father, even then their converse is about their mutual estimate of you, how much they love you: ‘All mine are thine, and thine are mine.'”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Christ’s Pastoral Prayer for His People,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 39 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1893), 39: 507–508. Spurgeon preached this sermon on John 17:9-10 on the Lord’s Day evening of September 1, 1889 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

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“Christ is the centre where all the lines of His Father’s love do meet” by Thomas Watson

“Christ is lovely to God His Father. God is infinitely taken with Him.

Christ is called the Rose of Sharon, and how doth God delight to smell this rose! ‘My elect in whom my soul delights.’ (Isa. 42:1)

Surely if there be loveliness enough in Christ to delight the heart of God, there may well be enough in Him to delight us. Christ is the centre where all the lines of His Father’s love do meet.”

–Thomas Watson, “Christ’s Loveliness,” in Discourses on Important and Interesting Subjects, Being the Select Works of the Rev. Thomas Watson (vol. 1; Edinburgh; Glasgow: Blackie, Fullarton, & Co.; A. Fullarton & Co., 1829), 1: 308.

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“Those things that are held forth to us in the gospel of Jesus Christ” by Jonathan Edwards

“Is there anything which Christians can find in heaven or earth so worthy to be the objects of their admiration and love, their earnest and longing desires, their hope, and their rejoicing, and their fervent zeal, as those things that are held forth to us in the gospel of Jesus Christ?

In which, not only are things declared most worthy to affect us, but they are exhibited in the most affecting manner.

The glory and beauty of the blessed Jehovah, which is most worthy in itself, to be the object of our admiration and love, is there exhibited in the most affecting manner that can be conceived of, as it appears shining in all its luster, in the face of an incarnate, infinitely loving, meek, compassionate, dying Redeemer.

All the virtues of the Lamb of God, His humility, patience, meekness, submission, obedience, love and compassion, are exhibited to our view, in a manner the most tending to move our affections, of any that can be imagined.”

–Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections (ed. John E. Smith and Harry S. Stout; vol. 2, Revised edition.; The Works of Jonathan Edwards; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 2: 123–124.

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“Without losing Himself, God can give Himself” by Herman Bavinck

“A deep chasm separates God’s being from that of all creatures.

It is a mark of God’s greatness that He can condescend to the level of His creatures and that, though transcendent, He can dwell immanently in all created beings.

Without losing Himself, God can give Himself, and, while absolutely maintaining His immutability, He can enter into an infinite number of relations to His creatures.”

–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, Vol. 2, Ed. John Bolt, and Trans. John Vriend (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 2: 159.

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