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Bickersteth on the deity of Jesus Christ

August 15, 2010 1 comment

From his work titled The Trinity:

Let us ponder these things, and reflect how cumulative is this evidence. I earnestly pray that the Divine Spirit may present it with irresistible power to every conscience.

  • If, after weighing the solemn declarations of Jehovah, guarding his own inalienable glories, we had found the essential attributes of Deity assigned in Scripture to Jesus Christ, this would have been an unanswerable argument.
  • If, after considering our miserable condition as lost sinners, we had found that, in the matter of eternal salvation, our hopes are there directed to Jesus as our Savior, this would have been conclusive evidence, when we remember, “I am God, and beside me there is no Savior.”
  • If, leaving this line of proof, we review the appearances of the Lord to the Old Testament saints, this would have been a new and interesting series of demonstrations, which would lead us to the same result.
  • If again, quitting this, we carefully ponder the Divine worship offered to him, and accepted by him, this is decisive, when we remember, “Thou shall worship the Lord thy God, and him only shall thou serve.”
  • If, pursuing another path of investigation, we study those Scriptures where, in offices of the highest solemnity, the name of Jesus Christ is so united with that of our heavenly Father, that to accept this as the conjunction of the Creator with his creature would confound all distinction betwixt God and man, we are again led irresistibly to the conclusion, that the Godhead of the Father and of the Son is one, the glory equal, and the majesty co-eternal.
  • If once more we see how prophecies regarding God Jehovah are claimed by the New Testament as being fulfilled in Jesus Christ, here is inspired testimony to the supreme Deity of the Messiah.
  • And finally, when we find the awful names of God, and Savior, and Redeemer, and Lord, ascribed to him again and again, in a subject where misdirected faith were idolatry and death, this again is explicit assertion and transparent proof.

I say, the evidence is cumulative. It is not a long elaborate catena, the strength of which is the strength of its weakest link. If the reader thinks any text is inapplicable, let him dismiss it. This proof rests on hundreds of texts. The whole drift of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, establishes it. It is interwoven with the very texture of the sacred writings. The lines of argument are distinct and independent; and yet, when presented in their collective strength, they are so mutually corroborative, that it seems as if we heard the voice again from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, hear you him:- and when we humbly ask, “Who is he, Lord, that I might believe in him?” and bend a reverential ear to catch the import of the answer, it is this, “Unto you is born a Savior, which is Christ the Lord, Emmanuel, Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the Father of eternity, the Prince of Peace.”

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God Speaks

March 22, 2010 1 comment

Here are a few quotes I came across while reading an article about Torrance’s understanding of the Trinity:

The characteristic of the biblical God, the Holy One of Israel, is that he speaks. When he speaks, those addressed know that they have been addressed by an “other”, by the Other; they know what has been spoken and therein know as well who has spoken.”

“In Scripture, to know God is to participate in the reality of God and so to be rendered forever different.”

Leviticus 19:2 can be defended as the “root” commandment of scripture (in contrast to the “great” commandment): “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” On the one hand, God’s holiness is his unique Godness and therefore he alone is holy. On the other hand, God’s people are commanded to be holy, the “root” commandment of scripture gathering up all others. Since God is love eternally in the sense of ceaseless activity, God’s people are holy inasmuch as the “root” commandment is seen to be related to the “great” commandment”: we are to love the Lord our God, together with our neighbour. We love God and neighbour alike, however, not through adopting an attitude or assuming a posture, but by being “doers of the Word” (James 1:22). We are not to “love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) What is real is not merely to be apprehended; what is real (ultimately, God, and his claim upon us and our concrete obedience in the sphere of his love and in fellowship with him) is to be done. (John 3:21)

Victor A. Shepherd, “Thomas F. Torrance and the Homoousion of the Holy Spirit”

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Spurgeon writes of our church neighbourhood, Wandsworth Common

March 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Here are some references from two editions of The Sword and Trowel that speak of the district around our church, Trinity Road Chapel:

L.—CHATHAM ROAD, WANDSWORTH COMMON
Here a chapel, accommodating 240, has been erected and paid for through the efforts of our two sons, C. and T. Spurgeon. This is purely a mission chapel, in the midst of a neighbourhood greatly needing the gospel, but far from eager to hear it. It is a light in a dark place. We rejoice that our son Charles is now a student in the College.
Sadly, that description still applies!

LI.—NOTTINGHAM ROAD, UPPER TOOTING
Chiefly through the consecrated energies of two brethren, members of the Tabernacle, a room was opened here some few years ago. A very pretty little chapel has since been built, towards which we subscribed £250; the people have given up to the full of their means in order to secure a place to meet in where they might have a hope of gathering a congregation. Mr. Tredray, of our College, was for some months the preacher: at present the little church is seeking a pastor.
Spurgeon, C. H. The Sword and Trowel: 1878 (94–95).
Another entry:

June 6.—Although we are quite forbidden to take any services beyond our home work, we felt able to go down and lay the foundation stone of a school-chapel near our own house in Nottingham Road, Upper Tooting. Here a little band of true-hearted believers have formed a church, and given generously to build a place wherein to worship. We had great pleasure in helping them, and as they will need about £400 more, we shall be glad if others will help them too. Any sums sent to us will be duly appropriated. Baptist friends in London ought to know that these good people have not gone round to them, or received a penny from the Association, but have helped themselves as God has enabled them. We hope that there are at least a few who will admire this effort of a very slender band and send them aid without being waited upon. Such giving would be of the very best kind. Note that this is not our sons’ chapel. It is near it, but in quite another district, with a common between. Friends can help both, or either, and we shall be equally glad. Partiality might have made us wish to see our sons raise their amount first, but in the Lord’s work we know no such feeling.
We find that we have given offence by saying that there was no Baptist Church in Tooting. We really thought so, but we are informed that there is a small one, and therefore we heartily apologize to our brethren for appearing to ignore them; for whatever their views, or however obscure the site of their chapel, we would not wilfully overlook any member of the family. We have been through the little town scores of times, but have never seen the building: may our friends increase and multiply, and come to the front. We ought to have a large and influential church in Tooting, where there are many Baptists who remain unattached, or travel for miles to worship, showing that they do not feel that they are provided for. A movement is on foot for a church of the same faith and order as that at the Tabernacle, and there is plenty of room.
Spurgeon, C. H. The Sword and Trowel: 1877 (115–116).
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Oldest sin in the book: Blaming God for sin.

March 15, 2010 1 comment

Ever since Adam and Eve sinned and then pointed the blame for their actions on the Lord (“The woman you gave me!”), mankind has accused God of being the author of sin.  Herman Bavinck, in his chapter “Origin of Sin from vol 3 of Reformed Dogmatics explains:

If philosophy announces in so may words “God is to blame for everything: humans are blameless,” then in practice libertinism and pessimism are not far behind.

This is the libertinism that considers sin an illusion, and this illusion, as the only sin, erases all boundaries between good and evil, falsifies or, with Nietzsche, trans-values all moral concepts, and, under the rallying cry of the emancipation of the flesh, glorifies bestiality as geniality.

This is the pessimism that, blind to sin, has eyes only for suffering, projects the blame for all that suffering upon the irrational act of an absolute will, and seeks deliverance from suffering in the destruction of the existing world.  Judging by the outcome, so-called independent philosophy is also guided by the native tendency of all humans to justify themselves and to charge God with injustice.”

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CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHRISTIAN MINISTER

March 13, 2010 2 comments

While studying for a message on 1 Thessalonians 2 this Sunday, I came across this helpful list that describes the characteristics of true Christian ministry:

Verse A Godly Minister …
2:3 Speaks the truth and has pure motives in doing so.
2:4 Seeks to please God, not people.
2:5 Does not flatter; is not greedy.
2:6 Does not seek people’s praise.
2:7 Is gentle, like a mother caring for her children.
2:8 Loves the believers and willingly shares his life and the gospel with them.
2:9 Works hard so as not to be a burden to anyone while preaching the Good News.
2:10 Is pure, honest, and faultless toward the believers.
2:11 Treats the believers as a good father would treat his own children.
2:12 Willingly pleads, encourages, and urges the believers to live in a way that God would consider worthy.

Barton, B. B., & Osborne, G. R. (1999). 1 & 2 Thessalonians : Life application commentary. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.

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You might need one of these–feel free to print it.

March 12, 2010 1 comment

You Might Need This

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Review of The Big Trinity Debate at Trinity Road Chapel

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment


We had an excellent time at Trinity Road Chapel with James White debating Abdullah al Andalusi on the subject of the Trinity. Please read James White’s review here.

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