Tag Archives: Theology Breakfast

“Preach the Christ of the Bible” by J.I. Packer

“If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible.

We are, in effect bearing false witness and preaching a false Christ. Our message is ‘another gospel, which is not another.’ Such preaching may soothe some, but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Saviour from sin will not be found to save from self or from anything else.

An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation; and a half-truth presented as the whole truth is a complete untruth.”

–J.I. Packer, “The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel,” in A Quest For Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Wheaton: Crossway, 1990), 164-165,

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“Choose life” by Jonathan Edwards

“What a vast difference is there between the death of a child of the devil and a child of God! The one leaves all his troubles and afflictions behind him, never to feel them more; the other, he leaves all his pleasures behind him, all the pleasure that ever he will enjoy while God endures.

The one leaves all his temptations forever, but the other instead of that falls into the hands of the tempter, not to be tempted but to be tormented by him. The one is perfectly delivered from all remainders of corruption; the other, he carries all that vast load of sin, made up of original sin, natural corruption, and actual sins, into hell with him, and there the guilt of them breaks forth in the conscience and burns and scorches him as flames of hell within.

The filthiness of sin will then appear and be laid open before the world to his eternal shame. Death to the true Christian is an entrance into eternal pleasures and unspeakable joys, but the death of a sinner is his entrance into never-ending miseries. This world is all the hell that ever a true Christian is to endure, and it is all the heaven that unbelievers shall ever enjoy.

‘Tis a heaven in comparison of the misery of the one, and a hell in comparison of the happiness of the other. The sinner, when he dies, he leaves all his riches and possessions: there is no more money for him to have the pleasure of fingering; there is no more gay apparel for him to be arrayed in, nor proud palace to live in. But the Christian, when he dies, he obtains all his riches, even infinite spiritual, heavenly riches.

At death, the sinner leaves all his honor and enters into eternal disgrace; but the Christian is then invested with his. The one leaves all his friends forever more: when he sees them again at the resurrection, it will be either glorifying God in his justice in damning him, or else like furies ready to tear him.

But the other, he goes to his best friends and will again meet his best earthly friends at the resurrection in glory, full of mutual joy and love. The death of a believer is in order to a more glorious resurrection, but the death of a sinner is but only a faint shadow and preludium of the eternal death the body is to die at the great day and forever more.

So great is the difference between the death of the one and the other, ’tis even as the difference between life and death, between death and a resurrection. Wherefore, now you have both before you—the glorious gainfulness of the death of a Christian, and the dreadfulness of the death of a sinner—or rather you have life and death set before you, to make your choice: therefore, choose life.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “Dying to Gain” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10: Sermons and Discourses, 1720-1723 (The Works of Jonathan Edwards Series) Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 588-589. Edwards was 19 years old when he preached this sermon.

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“The gain of a Christian’s death” by Jonathan Edwards

“By death the true believer is brought to the possession of all those heavenly riches, honors, and glorious pleasures that were laid up by Christ for him. Being thus made gloriously beautiful, with perfect holiness, he is embraced in the arms of his glorified Redeemer and he is conducted to the infinite treasure that was laid up for him.

He has his crown of glory placed on his head and he is led to the rivers of pleasure that flow at God’s right hand. He is set down at the eternal banquet of heaven and he is eternally entertained in the heavenly music of God’s praises that are sung by choirs of angels above, resting forever in the arms of a glorious Christ, forever delighted in his sweet embraces.

‘Tis this, and no less than this, that death brings the true Christian to: this is the gain of dying, this is instead of those worthless, miserable, wretched, dull, earthly vanities which he left behind. No less than this is the gain of a Christian’s death.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “Dying to Gain” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10: Sermons and Discourses, 1720-1723 (The Works of Jonathan Edwards Series) Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 586-587. Edwards was 19 years old when he preached this sermon.

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“Go to the fountain like a Christian” by Richard Sibbes

“Go to the fountain. What is the fountain of all cleanness? The blood of Christ. Revelation 1:5 tells us: ‘Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His blood.’ There is the first thing, begin with faith. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that must wash me from sin.

Thou must not go like a moral man, to labour by multitude of acts to get a new habit; but thou must work from another principle: all this cleansing must come from the blood of Jesus Christ.

And how may I apply this? By faith. So thou must go every morning, and present thy soul before the Lord, and look on Him crucified, and say, ‘Lord, Thou didst shed Thy blood to cleanse my soul from the spots of sin.’

Have faith, rinse thy soul, as it were, in the blood of this immaculate Lamb. Apply the blood of Jesus Christ not only for justification to free Thee from the guilt of sin, but let faith work, as it may be applied for sanctification, to wash away the spots and pollutions of sin.

This is certainly the most effectual means that can be imagined. Go to the well-head. Look to that main and principal beginning, like a Christian, and not like a moral man. Even though thou art polluted and defiled, yet the blood of the Lord Jesus will purge thee from all sin, spots as well as guilt.

‘For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?’ (Hebrews 9:13-14)

Mark that. You talk of a purgatory: there is the purgatory. That true purgatory is the fountain that is laid open for the house of Judah to wash in: serving not only for expiation of thy sin, that it shall not be laid to thy charge, but it serves to purge thy conscience from dead works to serve the living God. It is as effectual for sanctification, being applied by faith, as it for justification.

Therefore, as I may speak with reverence, make thy breakfast, as I may say, every morning, of the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ, and this will give thee more life, more ability, and strength, the multiplying and continual repetition every day of the act of faith, laying hold on Christ’s body broken, His blood shed. It is a most effectual means. Try it and you shall find the experience of it.”

–Richard Sibbes, “The Pattern of Purity,” in The Works of Richard Sibbes, Ed. Alexander Grosart (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, Repr. 2001), 7:512-513.

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“We shall sit with Christ as kings” by Richard Sibbes

“This promise is accomplished at the last day of judgment, when we shall sit with Christ as kings, ruling with Him, and as judges of the twelve tribes of Israel, judges of the world.

We are here conquerors of the world, the flesh and the devil; but then all things shall be put under our feet. And this should comfort us in our sufferings under wicked men. For at that time those that now triumph over us shall be trodden down as dust.

And again, we should learn not to fret to see the prosperity of the wicked (Psalm 37:1). They are but flowers of a day’s continuance. Who envies the estate or happiness of a base person that in a play acts the person of a king? This world is no other than a stage play.

Let the wicked be in ever so great a place, he must return to his rags; and the good man, though he acts the part of a beggar here for a while, he shall be a king hereafter forever and in the meantime God considers him as His dear son.”

–Richard Sibbes, “The Sun of Righteousness,” in The Works of Richard Sibbes, Ed. Alexander Grosart (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, Repr. 2001), 7:177-178.

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“The Sun of righteousness” by Richard Sibbes

“If Christ be the Sun of righteousness, we should, when we are cold and benumbed, repair to Him and conceive of Him as one having excellencies suitable to our wants.

Are we dark? He is light. Are we dull? He can heal us. Are we dying? He is life. And are we in discomfort? He is the fullness of love.

He is therefore the Son, that we should seek to Him, and make Him our all in all: our Prophet, to direct us by His light; our Priest, to make atonement for us; our King, to help us overcome all our corruptions and to make us more than conquerors.”

–Richard Sibbes, “The Sun of Righteousness,” in The Works of Richard Sibbes, Ed. Alexander Grosart (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, Repr. 2001), 7:171.

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“Light without the sun” by Richard Sibbes

“Those that look for perfection outside of Christ, do look for light without the sun.”

–Richard Sibbes, “The Sun of Righteousness,” in The Works of Richard Sibbes, Ed. Alexander Grosart (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, Repr. 2001), 7:169.

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