"For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. " 1 Corinthians 2:2

Stalwarts of the Faith | John Knox

from Reformation History

knoxJohn Knox, the most famous Scottish Reformer, was born near Edinburgh in 1505. He went to his local school and then to university in St Andrews, before becoming a deacon and a priest in the (Roman Catholic) Church.

From 1542, Scotland was governed by Regent Arran as Mary Queen of Scots [link to First Reformation – Monarchs – Mary QOS] was still a baby. Arran benefited reform in Scotland in a number of ways. Firstly, he passed a law that allowed people to read the Bible in their own language. He then appointed the Protestant Thomas Guillame to preach around Scotland, and it was through his preaching that John Knox was converted. The biggest influence on Knox’s life however was George Wishart.

After Wishart’s death in 1546, Knox taught the sons of a number of Protestants who had captured St Andrews Castle. Some of those in the castle called Knox to become their minister. At this he burst into tears and ran off to his room because of what a responsibility he knew it would be. A few days later however he accepted the call. In the summer of 1547 French warships attacked the castle. Knox was taken prisoner, kept aboard in one of the ships and forced to row it in chains with other galley slaves. After 19 months however he was set free, and went to England where Archbishop Cranmer was working to promote the Reformation, and he was appointed as a preacher [in Berwick]. He attacked the Roman Catholic mass as idolatry because it was ‘invented by the brain of man’ and not commanded by God. In 1551 he was invited to live in London and preach before king Edward VI.

In 1553, the Roman Catholic Mary I became Queen. Knox was now in danger so he left for Europe. He became minister in Frankfurt in Germany and then in Geneva in Switzerland where John Calvin was also a minister. In between he returned to Scotland to get married and preach, and was surprised at how far the teaching of the Reformers was spreading. [Read more…]

Christianity.com: What is “the sinner’s prayer?” Is it biblical?-John MacArthur

God’s Sovereignty | Ligonier Ministries

“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Ex. 33:19b).
– Exodus 33:19B

Arminians (semi-Pelagians) know the Lord is all-powerful (Job 42:1–2) and can stop or start any event if He so desires. Arminians also affirm the Creator’s complete knowledge of the future (Isa. 46:8–10) even if they do not attribute causation to God in the same sense that Augustinians (Calvinists) do. Therefore, Arminians, no less than Calvinists, believe the Lord foreordains all things. For example, if God knows He will stop me from wearing every shirt I own today except my green one, then the Arminian has to admit that I must wear my green shirt. The event is established; it is foreordained.

As Dr. R.C. Sproul has said, “There is no maverick molecule if God is sovereign.” If He cannot control the tiniest bits of the universe, then we cannot trust Him to keep His word. The Lord vowed to bring Abraham’s sons out of Egypt (Gen. 15:12–16), but if Joseph was not the object of his father’s favoritism, his brothers would not have envied him. If they had not envied him, they would not have sold him to the Ishmaelites, Israel would not have gone into Egypt, and God could not have kept His promise to the patriarch (37–50). [Read more…]

The Doctrines of Grace | Dr. Steve Lawson


from Ligonier.org

“Those who have received salvation are to attribute it to sovereign grace alone, and to give all the praise to Him, who makes them to differ from others.” —Jonathan Edwards

The doctrines of grace are so called because these five major headings of theology, often identified as the five points of biblical Calvinism, contain the purest expression of the saving grace of God. Each of these five doctrines—radical depravity, sovereign election, definite atonement, irresistible call, and preserving grace—supremely display the sovereign grace of God. These five headings stand together as one comprehensive statement of the saving purposes of God. For this reason, there is really only one point to the doctrines of grace, namely, that God saves sinners by His grace and for His glory. These two realities—God’s grace and glory—are inseparably bound together. Whatever most magnifies God’s grace most magnifies His glory. And that which most exalts God’s grace is the truth expressed in the doctrines of grace. [Read more…]

Taking God Seriously | Dr. J.I. Packer

J.I. Packer: Taking God Seriously from Crossway on Vimeo.

John Calvin’s 6 Reasons Why We Should Evangelize | Joel Beeke

from Ligonier Ministries

There are many reasons why we must evangelize. John Calvin offers the following:

1. God commands us to do so. “We should remember that the gospel is preached not only by the command of Christ but at his urging and leading.”

2. We want to glorify God. True Christians yearn to extend God’s truth everywhere so that “God may be glorified.”

3. We want to please God. Calvin writes, “It is a sacrifice well-pleasing to God to advance the spread of the gospel.”

4. We have a duty to God. “It is very just that we should labor… to further the progress of the gospel,” Calvin says. He adds, “It is our duty to proclaim the goodness of God to every nation.”

5. We have a duty to our fellow sinners. Our compassion should be intensified by knowing that “God cannot be sincerely called upon by others than those to whom, through the preaching of the gospel, his kindness and gentle dealings have become known.”

6. We are grateful to God. We owe it to God to strive for the salvation of others; if we do not, we are behaving in a contradictory manner. Calvin says, “Nothing could be more inconsistent concerning the nature of faith than that deadness which would lead a man to disregard his brethren, and to keep the light of knowledge… in his own breast.”

This excerpt is taken from Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism by Joel Beeke.

Charles Spurgeon on Calvinism — Unconditional Election | Nathan W. Bingham

from Ligonier Ministries

Charles Spurgeon tenaciously held to the doctrine of unconditional election. By necessity, this biblical truth flows from belief in human depravity. Because the will of man is utterly dead and cannot choose God, God must exercise His sovereign will to save. Out of the mass of fallen humanity, God made an eternal, distinguishing choice. Before the foundation of the world, He determined whom He would save. Spurgeon contended that were it not for God’s choice of His elect, none would be saved.

Like all the doctrines that Spurgeon held, he believed this truth because he was convinced it is rooted and grounded in the Bible: “Whatever may be said about the doctrine of election, it is written in the Word of God as with an iron pen, and there is no getting rid of it.” In his sermon titled “Election,” preached on September 2, 1855, Spurgeon read many passages that unmistakably teach this doctrinal truth. Among the texts he cited and explained were Luke 18:7; John 15:16; 17:8–9; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29, 33; 9:11–13; 11:7; 1 Corinthians 1:26–29; Ephesians 1:14; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:13–14; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1–2; and 2 John 1. In this exposition, Spurgeon stated:

In the very beginning, when this great universe lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in the acorn cup; long ere the echoes awoke the solitudes; before the mountains were brought forth; and long ere the light flashed through the sky, God loved His chosen creatures. Before there was any created being—when the ether was not fanned by an angel’s wing, when space itself had not an existence, when there was nothing save God alone—even then, in that loneliness of Deity, and in that deep quiet and profundity, His bowels moved with love for His chosen. Their names were written on His heart, and then were they dear to His soul.

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