It is to be remembered that those who receive … gifts, whether spiritual or temporal, receive them through pure grace, while in regard to the others God simply withholds those gifts, which He was under no obligation to bestow. Nations, as well as individuals, are thus in the hands of God, who appoints the bounds of their habitation, and controls their destiny. He controls them as absolutely as a man controls a rod or a staff. They are in His hands, and He employs them to accomplish His purposes. He breaks them in pieces as a potter’s vessel, or He exalts them to greatness, according to His good pleasure. He gives peace and fruitful seasons, property and happiness, or He sends the desolations of war, famine, drought and pestilence. All of these things are of His disposing, and are designed for intelligent ends under His universal providence. God is no mere spectator of the universe He has made, but is everywhere present and active, the all-sustaining ground, and all-governing power of all that is. (The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination)
According to John Calvin:
“Augustine does not disagree with this when he teaches that it is a faculty of the reason and the will to choose good with the assistance of grace; evil, when grace is absent.”
“I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels.”
In the words of Benjamin Rush:
The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effective means of limiting Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools.
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From the desk of R.C. Sproul:
“We do not segment our lives, giving some time to God, some to our business or schooling, while keeping parts to ourselves. The idea is to live all of our lives in the presence of God, under the authority of God, and for the honor and glory of God. That is what the Christian life is all about.”
In the words of David Martyn Lloyd-Jones:
“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.”
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:5-6 ESV)
According to R.C. Sproul:
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.” (Essential Truths of the Christian Faith)
Quoting John Calvin:
“Let us not cease to do the utmost – that we may incessantly go forward in the way of the Lord; and let us not despair of the smallness of our accomplishments.”
From the desk of Grover Cleveland:
“All must admit that the reception of the teachings of Christ results in the purest patriotism, in the most scrupulous fidelity to public trust, and in the best type of citizenship.”
Written by John Calvin:
“There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence.”
In the words of John Calvin:
“For there is no one so great or mighty that he can avoid the misery that will rise up against him when he resists and strives against God.”
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According to J. C. Ryle:
“Youth is the time when our passions are strongest—and like unruly children, cry most loudly for indulgence. Youth is the time when we have generally our most health and strength: death seems far away, and to enjoy ourselves in this life seems to be everything. ‘I serve lusts and pleasures’, that is the true answer many a young man should give if asked, ‘Whose servant are you?’”
Filed under: Bishop J. C. Ryle, Christianity, Culture, Evil, God, Holiness, Liberal, Living Life, Philosophy, Satan, sin | Tagged: Christ, Cross of Christ, Jesus, Religion and Spirituality | 1 Comment »
The true Christian mind finds equally in all things, including the important and unimportant, the divine presence and supreme control of our heavenly Father. According to A. A. Hodge:
The word PROVIDENCE means, first, to see beforehand, and then to exercise all that care and control which God’s infinite prevision of his own ends and his knowledge of his appointed instrumentalities may suggest. . . .
Our term “providence,” then, includes generally the entire sum of all God’s activities exterior to himself and subsequent to creation through all time. . . .
The fact that we cannot understand the modus operandi of God in his works of grace or of miracle can be no objection to the admission of their reality to the man who believes in the reality of God’s ordinary providence without being able to explain its method. We know that God’s methods of operation, whether natural or supernatural, whether in the forms of ordinary providence, of grace or of miracle, are all carried on simultaneously, are all mutually harmonious, are all the activities of one and the same infinite Agent and in the execution of one all comprehensive plan. . . .
[T]he providence of God in all its modes, whether natural or supernatural, whether ordinary, gracious or miraculous, must be, all and several, the execution of one single indivisible plan. There can be no real incongruities or antagonisms between the natural and the supernatural or between ordinary providence and grace. God, being eternal and infinite in knowledge and wisdom, sees the end from the beginning. . . .
Hence it follows with equal certainty that the providence of God must be universal. It must comprehend in its grasp equally every agent and every event without the least discontinuity or exception. One event is never in any degree more providential than any other event. There prevails a very unintelligent and really irreligious habit among many true Christians of passing unnoticed the evidence of God’s presence in the ordinary course of nature, and of recognizing it on the occasion of some event specially involving their supposed interests, as if it were special and unusual. They will say of some sudden, scarcely hoped for deliverance from danger, “Why, I think I may venture to say it was really providential.” But would it have been any the less providential if they had been destroyed and not delivered? Would it have been any the less providential if they had not been in jeopardy at all and had needed no deliverance? …
God is in the atom just as really and effectually as in the planet. He is in the unobserved sighing of the wind in the wilderness as in the earthquake which overthrows a city full of living men, and his infinite wisdom and power are as much concerned in the one event as in the other.
There is a distinction to be observed between God’s natural providence, which is universal and ordinary, and his supernatural providence, which is occasional and special. His natural providence is equally in every thing and event, but his grace and his supernatural intervention are in one event and not in another, at one time and not at another. It is proper, therefore, to distinguish his natural providence as general, and his grace or his supernatural providence as special. But it is essential to understand that in the ordinary sense of providence relating to the course of events in our natural lives, the common distinction between general and special providence is unintelligent and irreligious. All God’s providence is at the same time both general and special, and general because it is special, and special because it is general. . . . That which controls the every link controls the whole chain. That which controls the movement of every atom controls the whole world. That which controls the thought and volition of every man controls the entire course of human history. God does not come down from above upon the course of our lives in spots. His whole infinite being dwells everlastingly in each atom and each spirit. (“The Scripture Doctrine of Divine Providence”)
Filed under: A. A. Hodge, Bible, Christianity, God, Grace, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Reformed Christian Topics, Theology | Tagged: Christian, Divine grace, Divine providence, Religion and Spirituality, Supernatural | Comments Off
From the writings of R.C. Sproul:
“If God is the Creator of the entire universe, then it must follow that He is the Lord of the whole universe. No part of the world is outside of His lordship. That means that no part of my life must be outside of His lordship.”
Quoting John Calvin:
“However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts”
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“Christ’s offering Himself was the greatest expression of His inexpressible love! To imagine that there is any cleansing from sin except by the blood of Christ is to overthrow the gospel. We are never nearer to Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at his unspeakable love!”
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