Quotes By John Newton

IMGP0073May we sit at the foot of the cross–and there learn . . .
what sin has done,
what justice has done,
and what love has done.

While God supports, upholds and governs all things–He is attentive to all the cares, needs and feelings of the weakest of His people.

There is not a drop of rain which falls, which is not directed by God. There is not a particle of dust carried along by the wind, which is not carried the very place which God has appointed.

Sin is the root and spring of all misery!

I am persuaded that love and humility are the highest attainments in the school of Christ–and the brightest evidences that He is indeed our Master!

My grand point in preaching, is to break the hard heart–and to heal the broken one!

All shall work together for good.
Everything is needful, that He sends.
Nothing can be needful, that He withholds.

For the most part, the Lord’s children are a poor and afflicted people.
The Lord chooses poverty as the safest state for them in this ensnaring world.

Blessed are we, when we can clearly see that every event and circumstance of our lives, is under the immediate direction and appointment of Him who cares for us, and who has engaged that all things shall, notwithstanding all our doubts and misgivings, work together for our good.

We know not how to properly appreciate any one blessing–until we are deprived of it.

The whole of our profession may be comprised in looking unto Jesus–to take our eyes off from other objects, especially from ourselves, and to fix them upon Him!

I believe that the leading points of Arminianism spring from, and are nourished by, the pride of the human heart!

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Marketable Christianity

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“The philosophy that marries marketing technique with church growth theory is the result of bad theology. It assumes that if you package the gospel right, people will get saved. It is rooted in Arminianism, which makes the human will, not a sovereign God, the decisive factor in salvation….”—John MacArthur

Being Useful One Way or the Other

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“Do not you think you need have errors in your doctrine to make you useful. We have some who preach Calvinism all the first part of the sermon, and finish up with Arminianism, because they think that will make them useful. Useful nonsense!—that is all it is.

A man if he cannot be useful with the truth, cannot be useful with an error. There is enough in the pure doctrine of God, without introducing heresies to preach to sinners. As far as I know I never felt hampered or cramped in addressing the ungodly in my life. I can speak with as much fervency, and yet not in the same style as those who hold the contrary views of God’s truth. Those who hold God’s word, never need add something untrue in speaking to men. The sturdy truth of God touches every chord in every man’s heart. If we can, by God’s grace, put our hand inside man’s heart, we want nothing but that whole truth to move him thoroughly, and to stir him up.

There is nothing like the real truth and the whole truth, to make a man useful.”

~Charles Spurgeon

Why Do Most People Believe in Works-Based Salvation?

dig-a-holeThe simple answer is that salvation by works seems right in the eyes of man. One of man’s basic desires is to be in control of his own destiny, and that includes his eternal destiny. Salvation by works appeals to man’s pride and his desire to be in control. Being saved by works appeals to that desire far more than the idea of being saved by faith alone. Also, man has an inherent sense of justice. Even the most ardent atheist believes in some type of justice and has a sense of right and wrong, even if he has no moral basis for making such judgments. Our inherent sense of right and wrong demands that if we are to be saved, our “good works” must outweigh our “bad works.” Therefore, it is natural that when man creates a religion it would involve some type of salvation by works.

Because salvation by works appeals to man’s sinful nature, it forms the basis of almost every religion except for biblical Christianity. Proverbs 14:12 tells us that “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Salvation by works seems right to men, which is why it is the predominantly held viewpoint. That is exactly why biblical Christianity is so different from all other religions—it is the only religion that teaches salvation is a gift of God and not of works. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Another reason why salvation by works is the predominantly held viewpoint is that natural or unregenerate man does not fully understand the extent of his own sinfulness or of God’s holiness. Man’s heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), and God is infinitely holy (Isaiah 6:3). The deceit of our hearts is the very thing that colors our perception of the extent of that deceit and is what prevents us from seeing our true state before a God whose holiness we are also unable to fully comprehend. But the truth remains that our sinfulness and God’s holiness combine to make our best efforts as “filthy rags” before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6; cf. 6:1–5).

The thought that man’s good works could ever balance out his bad works is a totally unbiblical concept. Not only that, but the Bible also teaches that God’s standard is nothing less than 100 percent perfection. If we stumble in keeping just one part of God’s righteous law, we are as guilty as if we had broken all of it (James 2:10). Therefore, there is no way we could ever be saved if salvation truly were dependent on works.

Another reason that salvation by works can creep into denominations that claim to be Christian or say they believe in the Bible is that they misunderstand passages like James 2:24: “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.” Taken in the context of the entire passage (James 2:14–26), it becomes evident that James is not saying our works make us righteous before God; instead, he is making it clear that real saving faith is demonstrated by good works. The person who claims to be a Christian but lives in willful disobedience to Christ has a false or “dead” faith and is not saved. James is making a contrast between two different types of faith—truth faith that saves and false faith that is dead.

There are simply too many verses that teach that one is not saved by works for any Christian to believe otherwise. Titus 3:4–5 is one of many such passages: “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” Good works do not contribute to salvation, but they will always be characteristic of one who has been born again. Good works are not the cause of salvation; they are the evidence of it.

While salvation by works might be the predominantly held viewpoint, it is not an accurate one biblically. The Bible contains abundant evidence of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8–9).

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An Arminian Prayer

self-esteem(Charles Spurgeon, “Free Will, A Slave“)

You have heard a great many Arminian sermons, I dare say; but you never heard an Arminian prayer–for the saints in prayer appear as one in word and mind. An Arminian on his knees, would pray desperately like a Calvinist. He cannot pray about free-will–there is no room for it. Imagine him praying:

“Lord, I thank you I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to you of myself. I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have–then they might all have been saved. Lord, I know You do not make us willing, if we are not willing ourselves. You give grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many who will go to Hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Spirit given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not Your grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal–still I turned the point! I made use of what was given to me, and others did not–that is the difference between me and them.”

That is a prayer for the devil–for nobody else would offer such a prayer as that!

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You may want to read the whole of Spurgeon’s superb sermon, “Free Will, A Slave“.

Armianism VS Calvinism

125px-Arminius_5_flopped_and_croppedWhat is the heresy plaguing the modern church of the 21st century? And where did it come from?

“A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself,” (Titus 3:10-11).

The system of doctrine known as Arminianism is heresy. It is an offshoot from Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism. It has been adversely affecting the church and its doctrine for over 250 years. Men like Charles Finney and John Wesley, being the charismatic personalities200px-Charles_g_finney they were, propagated the doctrine and resurrected the Pelagian error from the pit of hell once again to persecute the church of Christ. Today’s Arminians are not necessarily the same caliber as those of old. Historic Arminianism is altogether heretical. However, contemporary Arminianism is often confusing; it melds together a number of different theological ideas to come up with a theological “soup”. Some things contemporary Arminians believe are radically different than historic Arminians. If we were to live in the days of old, when the caliber of theology for Arminianism reached its zenith in its contentions with the Reformed churches of the Netherlands, we would find men very much deceived and propagating doctrines of a different nature than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, each case for an “Arminian” church must be taken on its own accord since much of 21st Century Christendom really has no idea what they theologically believe. It should never be the self-imposed duty to condemn all men who hold a title of “Arminianism” since many do not know what the title means, much less believe all the historic aspects of the theological system. Walk into any church and ask the difference between Arminianism and Calvinism, and you will find a variety of answers; and most of them will be erroneous on every point. Yet, there are some today who do hold to historic Arminianism, and who do believe the depths of Arminian theology historically speaking. There are even a variety of Arminian websites which propagate the doctrines. But for the most part, each “Arminian” must be dealt with individually in order to assess their understanding, or flavor, of theological soup. It may very well be that they are believing a damning heresy. It may very well be that they are simply confused and need help to understand the doctrines of God’s grace, or their depravity. But in any case, the Calvinist ought always to be fair, gentle and loving in his approach to preaching the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

175px-Charles_Haddon_Spurgeon_by_Alexander_MelvilleSpurgeon was correct when he said,

“I have heard it asserted most positively, that those high doctrines which we love and which we find in the Scriptures, are licentious ones. I do not know who has the hardihood to make that assertion, when they consider that the holiest of men have been believers in them. I ask the man who dares to say that Calvinism is a licentious religion, what he thinks of the character of Augustine, or Calvin, or Whitfield, who in successive ages were the great exponents of the system of grace; or what will he say of those Puritans, whose works are full of them? Had a man been an Arminian in those days, he would have been accounted the vilest heretic breathing; but now we are looked upon as the heretics, and they the orthodox.”

To read more of this excellent article, click HERE