Hope for the Wretched (Like Me)
by Herman Bavinck
Both for unbelievers and believers, the doctrine of election is a source of inexpressibly great comfort. If it were based on justice and merit, all would be lost. But now that election operates according to grace, there is hope even for the most wretched. If work and reward were the standard of admission into the kingdom of heaven, its gates would be opened for no one. Or if Pelagius’s doctrine were the standard, and the virtuous were chosen because of their virtue, and Pharisees because of their righteousness, wretched publicans would be shut out. Pelagianism has no pity. But to believe in and to confess election is to recognize even the most unworthy and degraded human being as a creature of God and an object of his eternal love. The purpose of election is not—as it is so often proclaimed—to turn off the many but to invite all to participate in the riches of God’s grace in Christ. No one has a right to believe that he or she is a reprobate, for everyone is sincerely and urgently called to believe in Christ with a view to salvation. No one can actually believe it, for one’s own life and all that makes it enjoyable is proof that God takes no delight in his death. No one really believes it, for that would be hell on earth. But election is a source of comfort and strength, of submissiveness and humility, of confidence and resolution. The salvation of human beings is firmly established in the gracious and omnipotent good pleasure of God.
Hide Not the Offense of the Cross
by C. H. Spurgeon
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man” —Galatians 1:11
A gospel which is after men will be welcomed by men; but it needs a divine operation upon the heart and mind to make a man willing to receive into his inmost soul this distasteful gospel of the grace of God. My dear brethren, do not try to make it tasteful to carnal minds.
Hide not the offense of the cross, lest you make it of none effect. The angles and corners of the gospel are its strength: to pare them off is to deprive it of power. Toning down is not the increase of strength, but the death of it.
Why, even among the sects, you must have noticed that their distinguishing points are the horns of their power; and when these are practically omitted, the sect is effete. Learn, then, that if you take Christ out of Christianity, Christianity is dead.
If you remove grace out of the gospel, the gospel is gone. If the people do not like the doctrine of grace, give them all the more of it. Whenever its enemies rail at a certain kind of gun, a wise military power will provide more of such artillery.
A great general, going in before his king, stumbled over his own sword. “I see,” said the king, “your sword is in the way.” The warrior answered, “Your majesty’s enemies have often felt the same.” That our gospel offends the King’s enemies is no regret to us.
From Charles H. Spurgeon, “Galatians 1:11 - Our Manifesto.” Preached on April 25th, 1890, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.
Two Top Rated Books on the Gospel
Among the best books ever written on the gospel. Both available for free download
Click on the following links to go to the download pages. These high quality eBooks have an actively linked Table of Contents, not scanned. To download, use your default browser, not your Facebook app.
The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification (eBook) by Walter Marshall
This is perhaps one of the best treatises on the doctrine of sanctification (and the gospel) ever penned. It was first published in 1692, yet remains today as one of the most authoritative treatments of the subject. The contents are the culmination of Puritan thought on living the Christian life. Combining doctrinal precision and pastoral sensitivity, Walter Marshall shows how sanctification is essential to spiritual life, dependent on spiritual union with Jesus Christ, and inseparable—though distinct—from justification. He shows how holiness involves both the mind and the soul of the believer and that it is the aim of the Christian life. It is no wonder that this book has been reprinted many times throughout the years and received such high praise from leading ministers of the gospel.
Is it Unjust of God to Ask Sinners to Do What They Are Morally Unable to Do?
Some claim it would be unjust of God to command us to do something we are unable to do.
That is an odd claim. Isn't that why we need grace to begin with? ... because we are morally bankrupt?, impotent to carry out the works of the Law? The command "Love the Lord your God with all your heart..." Does anyone naturally love God with all their heart? No. We are impotent to obey this command in the flesh. Does that make God unjust for asking us to conform to his holy standards? No, of course not. The commands of God are righteous and holy and we only have ourselves to blame for rejecting them ... not to mention that the purpose of the law is to reveal sin (Rom 3:19-20
But lets bring this same question to the summons to believe the gospel. We all agree that the choice of right or wrong is put before every person. "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Yet, even if we did not inherit original sin from Adam, the moment we choose to sin in our personal lives against an infinitely holy God, we would render ourselves dead in sin, unspiritual creatures of the flesh, owing a sin-debt we cannot repay. Any good will or moral ability to see the goodness, beauty and excellency of Christ has been destroyed by sin. As a result, "...there is no one who seeks God" (Rom 3:11
) Now, in every day life, if you owe a debt you cannot repay... are you still responsible to repay the debt?