Tag Archives: God’s Word

“The Word of God is a deep mine of costly treasure” by George Swinnock

“Out of His infinite favour God is pleased to give some— in those places where He intendeth to gather a people to Himself, for His eternal praise— beside the twinkling starlight of nature, the clear and perfect sunlight of Scripture, to ‘guide their feet in the ways of peace.’

This Word is one of the most signal mercies that ever He bestowed upon the sons of men, the whole world without it being but a barren and rude wilderness.

The Word of God is a spring of living water, a deep mine of costly treasure, a table furnished with all sorts of food, a garden wherein is variety of pleasant fruits, the church’s charter, containing all her privileges and her deeds, manifesting her title to the purchased possession.

It hath pious precepts for the Christian’s reformation, and precious promises for his consolation.

If the saint be afflicted, it can hold his head above water, and keep him from sinking when the billows go over his soul; there are cordials in it rich enough to revive the most fainting spirit.

If the saint be assaulted, the word is armour of proof, whereby he may defend himself manfully, and wound his foes mortally.

If the soul be unholy, this word can sanctify it; ‘Ye are clean through the word which I have spoken to you,’ (John 15:3). This water can wash out all the spots and stains.

If the soul be an heir of hell, this word can save it: ‘From a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise to salvation,’ (2 Tim. 3:15). Other writings may make a man wise to admiration, but this only can make him wise to salvation.

This word, which is of such unspeakable worth, God hath deposited as a special treasure into the hands of the children of men, that they might ‘obey His will, and know the just one.’

And, reader, it is thy duty to search and study this book. When kings send out their proclamations, either concerning acts of grace, or some law which their subjects ought to obey, they expect that all should take notice of them, and give them the reading and hearing.

What an affront dost thou offer to the King of the whole world, if thou turnest thy back upon His word! I must tell thee it is no less than crimen lœsœ majestatis. (‘the crime of injured sovereignty‘)

‘He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me,’ (Luke 10:16).

Thou mayest think, possibly, that by neglecting to hear, thou dost only contemn the preacher; but believe me, it is a contempt of thy Maker—ministers are God’s ambassadors.

Now to deny an ambassador audience, is one of the greatest disrespects which can possibly be offered him, nay, it is an affront to his prince, on whose errand he cometh, and whose person he representeth; and what is the conclusion usually of such bad premises, but a bloody war?

Consider what thou dost, when thou ‘refusest Him that speaketh from heaven;’ for if thou shuttest the windows of thine eyes from reading, and the door of thine ears from hearing, God may clap such a padlock of a judiciary curse upon them both, that thou shalt never open thine eyes nor ears, till thou comest, as the rich glutton, to see Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom, and to hear and bear thy part in those dreadful screechings and howlings which are in hell.

It is a mercy that the tree of knowledge, the word of God, is not forbidden, but commanded fruit; nay, that it groweth in the very path to the tree of life.

Oh, why shouldst thou then, like the pharisees, ‘reject the counsel of God against thy own soul’? If thou art a child of Adam, I am sure thou hast thy death’s wound; now by neglecting the word, thou, like a frantic patient, throwest away that medicine which only can cure thee.

Do not say thou wast not warned of thy danger and duty. I do here show thee the hand and seal of the King of kings to that warrant to which I require thy obedience.

The Scripture is the word of Christ, and God commandeth thee upon thine allegiance to hear him, (Col. 3:16; Matt. 3:17).

The Word is the cabinet in which thy Saviour, that pearl of infinite price, is laid up; and therefore thou art commanded to look into it for this jewel: ‘Search the Scriptures, for they are they which testify of Me,’ (John 5:39).

The word is ἐρευνᾶτε (search), and speaketh such a diligent search as covetous men make for silver; they spare no labour, that they may attain their deified treasure. What shouldst not thou do for ‘durable riches and righteousness’?

But, reader, if thou art a child of God, I doubt not but thou delightest to look into thy Father’s will, and weighest every word in it, as knowing that in his testament there is a great charge committed, and a great legacy bequeathed, to thee.

It is thy daily companion and counsellor; thou darest not go without thy cordial, being liable every day to faint; nor without thy weapons, being called every hour to fight.

The Scriptures are the light by which thou walkest, and the tools with which thou workest.

Let me persuade thee to persevere in this gracious practice; take the counsel of the author of it, who is fittest to give laws for thy carriage towards it: ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,’ (Col. 3:16).

The word is ἐνοικέτω (dwell), and signifieth to keep house with you. Do not leave thy Bible, as some do, at church, and hear nothing of it all the week long; but bring it home to thy house, let it dwell with thee.

Let not the word be ‘as a wayfaring man, to tarry with thee but for a night,’ and so begone; but let it be an inhabitant, one that accompanieth thee to bed and board, and with whom thou conversest continually as thy familiar and intimate friend.

Make thine heart, as Jerome saith of Nepotianus, by his assiduous reading and hearing the Scriptures, Bibliothecam Christi, the library of Jesus Christ.

I cannot but think that thou hast found the Bible so bountiful a guest, to pay thee so liberally for its board, that thou hast bid it heartily welcome, and wouldst not part with it for the whole world.”

–George Swinnock, “The Christian Man’s Calling,” The Works of George Swinnock, Volume 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1992), 1: 141-143.

Leave a comment

Filed under Biblical Theology, Christian Theology, Ecclesiology, Elders, Eschatology, Faith, Glorification, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Maranatha, Perseverance, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Church, The Gospel

“There was one there far greater than Moses or Elijah” by J.C. Ryle

“In the last place, we have in these verses a remarkable testimony to Christ’s infinite superiority over all that are born of woman.

This is a point which is brought out strongly by the voice from heaven, which the disciples heard.

Peter, bewildered by the heavenly vision, and not knowing what to say, proposed to build three tabernacles, one for Christ, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.

He seemed in fact to place the law-giver and the prophet side by side with his divine Master, as if all three were equal. At once, we are told, the proposal was rebuked in a marked manner.

A cloud covered Moses and Elijah, and they were no more seen.

A voice at the same time came forth from the cloud, repeating the solemn words, made use of at our Lord’s baptism, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him.’

That voice was meant to teach Peter, that there was one there far greater than Moses or Elijah.

Moses was a faithful servant of God. Elijah was a bold witness for the truth. But Christ was far above either one or the other.

He was the Saviour to whom law and prophets were continually pointing.

He was the true Prophet, whom all were commanded to hear. (Deut. 18:15)

Moses and Elijah were great men in their day. But Peter and his companions were to remember, that in nature, dignity, and office, they were far below Christ.

He was the true sun: they were the stars depending daily on His light.

He was the root: they were the branches. He was the Master: they were the servants.

Their goodness was all derived: His was original and His own.

Let them honor Moses and the prophets, as holy men. But if they would be saved, they must take Christ alone for their Master, and glory only in Him. ‘Hear ye Him.’

Let us see in these words a striking lesson to the whole Church of Christ. There is a constant tendency in human nature to ‘hear man.’

Bishops, priests, deacons, popes, cardinals, councils, presbyterian preachers, and independent ministers, are continually exalted to a place which God never intended them to fill, and made practically to usurp the honor of Christ.

Against this tendency let us all watch, and be on our guard. Let these solemn words of the vision ever ring in our ears, ‘Hear ye Christ.’

The best of men are only men at their very best.

Patriarchs, prophets, and apostles—martyrs, fathers, reformers, puritans– all, all are sinners, who need a Saviour– holy, useful, honorable in their place—but sinners after all.

They must never be allowed to stand between us and Christ.

He alone is ‘the Son, in whom the Father is well pleased.’

He alone is sealed and appointed to give the bread of life.

He alone has the keys in His hands, ‘God over all, blessed forever.’

Let us take heed that we hear His voice, and follow Him.

Let us value all religious teaching just in proportion as it leads us to Jesus.

The sum and substance of saving religion is to ‘hear Christ.'”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1856/2012), 167-168. Ryle is commenting on Matthew 17:1-13.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Biblical Theology, Christian Theology, Glory of Christ, God's Goodness, grace, J.C. Ryle, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Mercy, Prayer, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sanctification, Thanksgiving, The Gospel

“There is an inexhaustible fullness in Scripture” by J.C. Ryle

“Let us ponder these things well. There are great depths in all our Lord Jesus Christ’s recorded dealings upon earth, which no one has ever fully fathomed.

There are mines of rich instruction in all His words and ways, which no one has thoroughly explored.

Many a passage of the Gospels is like the cloud which Elijah’s servant saw. (1 Kings 18:44) The more we look at it, the greater it will appear.

There is an inexhaustible fullness in Scripture.

Other writings seem comparatively threadbare when we become familiar with them. But as to Scripture, the more we read it, the richer we shall find it.”

–J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Matthew (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1856/2012), 133-134. Ryle is commenting on Matthew 14:13-21.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Glory of Christ, God's Goodness, grace, J.C. Ryle, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Mercy, Prayer, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sanctification, Thanksgiving, The Gospel

“A most weighty argument” by John Flavel

He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all; how shall He not with Him freely give us all things?’ (Romans 8:32)

“This Scripture contains a most weighty argument to encourage and confirm the faith of Christians in the expectation of all spiritual and temporal mercies.

It proceeds from the greater to the less affirmatively: He that delivered His Son for us, what can He deny us after such a gift? Every word hath its weight.

God delivered up His Son, His own Son, how dear whatsoever He was unto Him, to humiliation, contradiction of sinners, to all sorrows and temptations, yea, to death, and that of the cross, and all this for us, for us sinners, for us enemies to God, for us unlovely wretches.

“How shall He not with Him freely give us all things?”

How is it imaginable that God should withhold, after this, spirituals or temporals, from His people?

How shall He not call them effectually, justify them freely, sanctify them thoroughly, and glorify them eternally?

How shall He not clothe them, feed them, protect and deliver them?

Surely if He would not spare to His own Son one stroke, one tear, one groan, one sigh, one circumstance of misery, it can never be imagined that ever He should, after this, deny or withhold from His people, for whose sakes all this was suffered, any mercies, any comforts, any privilege, spiritual or temporal, which is good for them, and needful to them.”

–John Flavel, “The Sixth Meditation on Romans 8:32,” The Works of the John Flavel, Volume 6 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 6: 417-418.

1 Comment

Filed under Bible, Biblical Theology, Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, John Flavel, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the Scriptures” by John Flavel

“The knowledge of Jesus Christ is the very marrow and kernel of all the Scriptures; the scope and center of all divine revelations: both Testaments meet in Christ.

The ceremonial law is full of Christ, and all the gospel is full of Christ: the blessed lines of both Testaments meet in Him.

And how they both harmonize, and sweetly concentrate on Jesus Christ, is the chief scope of that excellent epistle to the Hebrews. For we may call that epistle the sweet harmony of both Testaments.

The right knowledge of Jesus Christ, like a clue, leads you through the whole labyrinth of the Scriptures.”

–John Flavel, The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 1: 34.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Biblical Theology, Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, John Flavel, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“There is no doctrine more excellent in itself than the doctrine of Jesus Christ” by John Flavel

“There is no doctrine more excellent in itself, or more necessary to be preached and studied, than the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

All other knowledge, how much soever it be magnified in the world, is, and ought to be esteemed but dross, in comparison to the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

–John Flavel, The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 1: 34.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, John Flavel, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“Eternity itself cannot fully unfold Him” by John Flavel

“Though something of Christ be unfolded in one age, and something in another, yet eternity itself cannot fully unfold Him.

I see something, said Luther, which blessed Augustine saw not; and those that come after me, will see that which I see not.

It is in the studying of Christ, as in the planting of a new discovered country.

At first men sit down by the sea-side, upon the skirts and borders of the land. And there they dwell, but by degrees they search farther and farther into the heart of the country.

Ah, the best of us are yet but upon the borders of this vast continent!”

–John Flavel, The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 1: 36.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banner of Truth, Christian Theology, Glory of Christ, Jesus Christ, John Flavel, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“One word of God can do more than ten thousand words of men” by John Flavel

“The Word of God is the only support and relief to a gracious soul in the dark day of affliction (Psalm 119:50, 92; 2 Sam. 23:5). That for this very purpose it was written (Romans 15:4).

No rules of moral prudence, no sensual remedies can perform that for us which the Word can do.

And is not this a sealed truth, attested by a thousand undeniable experiences? Hence have the saints fetched their cordials when fainting under the rod.

One word of God can do more than ten thousand words of men to relieve a distressed soul.”

–John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence, in The Works of the John Flavel (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1820/1997), 4: 424.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banner of Truth, Bible, Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, John Flavel, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“Here is hope” by David F. Wells

“To the Church has been given the charge of proclaiming the Word of God. This revelatory Word is not a concatenation of human opinions and ideas but rather is God’s own proclamation, the very means by which He speaks, even into postmodern society.

It is, therefore, the making possible of what would be entirely impossible without the grace of God and the powerful working of the Spirit through whose work, and despite the stammering and faltering lips of the preacher, is heard once again the divine summons to stand before God and hear His Word.

Here is hope. We have not been cast adrift upon an infinite ocean but, rather, we find ourselves in a universe not of our own making where all our best thoughts of God are swept away as upon a ferocious current only to be replaced by the eternally simple speech of the triune God.

He draws near through His Word, He lifts the fallen, He feeds the hungry, He corrects the wandering, He rebukes the self-sufficient, and everywhere there is found the sweet fragrance of His grace where He has spoken through His Word and ministered by His Spirit.”

–David F. Wells, Above All Earthly Pow’rs: Christ in a Postmodern World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005), 176.

1 Comment

Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, David Wells, Jesus Christ, Preaching, Quotable Quotes, The Church, Worldliness

“Stand up for every word of His laws” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“It is, of course, the most easy to flesh and blood to deal in generalities, to denounce sectarianism, and claim to be of an ultra-Catholic spirit; but though rough and rugged, it is required of the loyal servant of King Jesus to maintain all His crown rights and stand up for every word of His laws. Friends chide us and foes abhor us when we are very jealous for the Lord God of Israel, but what do these things matter if the Master approves?”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, as quoted in Iain Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1966/1998), 17.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible, Charles Spurgeon, Courage, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes