Prayer

A. W. Pink, “…what is now being taught on the subject of prayer, and the deplorable thing is that scarcely a voice is lifted in protest. To say that “human destinies may be changed and moulded by the will of man” is rank infidelity—that is the only proper term for it. Should any one challenge this classification, we would ask them whether they can find an infidel anywhere who would dissent from such a statement, and we are confident that such an one could not be found. To say that “God has ordained that human destinies may be changed and moulded by the will of man”, is absolutely untrue. “Human destiny” is settled not by “the will of man,” but by the will of God. That which determines human destiny is whether or not a man has been born again, for it is written, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”. And as to whose will, whether God’s or man’s, is responsible for the new birth is settled, unequivocally, by John 1:13—”Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but OF GOD”. To say that “human destiny” may be changed by the will of man, is to make the creature’s will supreme, and that is, virtually, to dethrone God. But what saith the Scriptures? Let the Book answer: “The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory” (1 Sam. 2:6-8). Link

John Gill provides a proper theological background to prayer, “…it should be said that God’s will is immutable, and cannot be altered by our crying. When the mind of God is not toward a people to do them good, it cannot be turned to them by the most fervent and importunate prayers of those who have the greatest interest in Him—”Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth” (Jer. 15:1). The prayers of Moses to enter the promised land is a parallel case.

Our views respecting prayer need to be revised and brought into harmony with the teaching of Scripture on the subject. The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonoring and degrading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No; prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best. This makes my will subject to His, instead of, as in the former case, seeking to bring His will into subjection to mine. No prayer is pleasing to God unless the spirit actuating it is, “not my will, but thine be done”.

“When God bestows blessings on a praying people, it is not for the sake of their prayers, as if He was inclined and turned by them; but it is for His own sake, and of His own sovereign will and pleasure. Should it be said, to what purpose then is prayer? it is answered, This is the way and means God has appointed, for the communication of the blessing of His goodness to His people. For though He has purposed, provided, and promised them, yet He will be sought unto, to give them, and it is a duty and privilege to ask. When they are blessed with a spirit of prayer, it forebodes well, and looks as if God intended to bestow the good things asked, which should be asked always with submission to the will of God, saying, Not my will but Thine be done

The Wise Builder

A friend of mine is dealing with his wife’s cancer and immediately I was reminded of this portion from writings of Dr. John Gill. God is in control of all things. He has a plan. Trust in Jesus Christ alone. 

...if anything comes to pass without the will of God, or contrary to it, or what he has not commanded, that is decreed, (Lam. 3:37) how is he a sovereign Being, that does according to his will in heaven and in earth, and works all things after the counsel of his will? (Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11)

…and if anything is by chance and fortune, or the mere effect of second causes, and of the free will of men, independent of the will of God, and if he works under these, in subserviency to them, and takes his measures of operation from them, then he must be dependent on them; and how then can it be said with truth, that “of him, and through him, and to him, are all things?

He continues;

The “immutability” of God requires eternal decrees in him, concerning everything that is in time; for if anything is done in time, that did not fall under his notice and will in eternity, this must be new to him, and produce a change in him; or if an after will in time arises in him, respecting anything he would have done, which he willed not before, this argues a change in him; whereas, in him there is “no variableness, nor shadow of turning”. The knowledge of God, supposes and clearly proves and establishes the decrees of God; he is a “God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed”, (1 Sam. 2:13) he has knowledge of all actions done in time; and such an exact knowledge of them, as if they were weighed by him, and before him; and this knowledge of them is not successive, as they are performed; “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning”, or from eternity, (Acts 15:18) both what he would do himself, and what he wills to be done by others: and this knowledge is founded on his decrees; he knows that such and such things will be, because he has determined they shall be. Once more, the “wisdom” of God makes it necessary that there should be eternal purposes and decrees in him, concerning things future; he is the all-wise and only wise God, and in wisdom makes all his works; which cannot be supposed to be made without previous thoughts and determinations concerning them:

The analogy of the wise builder has been used many times, maybe A.W. Pink? I don’t recall. Here’s Gill;

what wise man undertakes a building, without first determining what it shall be, of what materials it shall be made, in what form and manner, as well as for what end? And can we imagine that the all-wise God, who builds all things, should go about them without preconcerted measures, and settled determinations concerning them; “Who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working?” (Isa. 28:29).

Faith Feeds Upon Christ

Quotations to edify and encourage from John Gill’s Practical Divinity. (emphasis added)

“Faith receives a whole Christ, not in part only, but in whole, he is “altogether”, or “all of him lovely;” the whole of him is, amiable in the sight of a believer, and acceptable to him. As the passover Lamb was to be eaten wholly by the Israelites, no part of it to be left, so faith feeds upon a whole Christ, Christ in his person, offices, grace, and righteousness. “Is Christ divided?” He is not, not in his person; he is but one, God manifest in the flesh; nor in his doctrines; nor from his ministers: nor from his ordinances; where Christ is received all are received.” p65

“Believers feed and live upon Christ by faith; “he”, says Christ, “that eateth me”, his flesh and blood by faith, “even he shall live by me”, a life of grace, which will issue in eternal life; yea, such as thus feed on Christ “have eternal life” (John 6:54,57), and a most comfortable life this is, which a believer lives by faith on Christ, and so a very desirable one; “the life which I now live in the flesh”, says the apostle, “I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20), nor did he desire any other; a better and a more comfortable life cannot be lived in this world; “the just shall live by faith”; not upon his faith; but by faith on Christ (Rom. 1:17).” p73

“The administration of ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s supper; which give such views of Christ in his sufferings and death, burial, and resurrection from the dead, and of the benefits arising from them, as yield delight to believing souls; the eunuch, upon his baptism, “went on his way rejoicing;” the supper of the Lord is a “feast of fat things,” a rich entertainment, where the flesh of Christ, as “meat indeed,” and the blood of Christ, as “drink indeed,” are presented to faith to feed upon; these ordinances are “breasts of consolation,” at which saints may “suck and be satisfied,” and “milk out,” and be “delighted” with the abundance of the glory in them; these are the “lattices” through which Christ shows himself, and these the “galleries” in which he is beheld, to the great joy and satisfaction of those who are favored with a sight of him.” p131

“Christ the Son of God is theirs; the gift of his Father’s love, an unspeakable one he is; given as an head unto them; as an head of government, to rule over them and protect them; and an head of influence, to supply them; he is their husband, to love, nourish, and cherish them, as his own flesh, and to all whose goods they have a common right; he is their Saviour and Redeemer from sin, Satan, the curse of the law, and wrath to come; he is their Mediator and Peacemaker, their Prophet, Priest, and King. All that belong to him are theirs; his righteousness is theirs, for justification; his blood is theirs, to cleanse and pardon them; his flesh is theirs, to feed upon by faith; his fulness theirs, to supply their wants; he is ALL in ALL unto them; and what, not content!” p152

John Gill Audio

gillMy lucky day!

During lunch hour I retreated to my bat cave (not really a cave but a dark 3rd floor storage area were we keep old files and records) to listen to a sermon or two and found some of John Gill’s work on SermonAudio!

The voice is robotic sounding but still…it’s John Gill! I was able to put up with the creepy voice and maybe you can as well. Anyways, I’m very thankful to the folks at Grace Chapel Community Church for taking the time to post them.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Mourning the Departed

Image result for wisdom of sirach

I’ve posted this before but I thought it may be of some use to my brothers and sisters who have trouble grieving.
“My son, let tears fall down over the dead, and begin to lament, as if thou hadst suffered great harm thyself; and then cover his body according to the custom, and neglect not his burial.

Weep bitterly, and make great moan, and use lamentation, as he is worthy, and that a day or two, lest thou be evil spoken of: and then comfort thyself for thy heaviness.

For of heaviness cometh death, and the heaviness of the heart breaketh strength. In affliction also sorrow remaineth: and the life of the poor is the curse of the heart.

Take no heaviness to heart: drive it away, and member the last end. Forget it not, for there is no turning again: thou shalt not do him good, but hurt thyself. Remember my judgment: for thine also shall be so; yesterday for me, and to day for thee. When the dead is at rest, let his remembrance rest; and be comforted for him, when his Spirit is departed from him.” Ecclesiasticus (Wisdom of Sirach) Chapter 38.16-23 Authorized King James Version

From The Orthodox Study Bible, “Proper mourning for the dead is essential to the healing of our grief. An honorable burial for the departed was considered a great work of mercy in the ancient Church. Each parish had its volunteers who washed and dressed the body, making preparation for burial. We are warned not to allow our hearts to be grief-stricken (v.18) so grief overpowers us, for some have even died from grief. Thus, St. Paul says we grieve, but not as those “who have no hope” (1 Th. 4:13) (END QUOTE)

John Gill on 1 Th. 4.13, “the apostle’s view is not to encourage and establish a stoical apathy, a stupid indolence, and a brutal insensibility, which are contrary to the make of human nature, to the practice of the saints, and even of Christ and his apostles, and our apostle himself; but to forbid excessive and immoderate sorrow, and all the extravagant forms of it the Gentiles ran into; who having no notion of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, had no hope of ever seeing their friends more,

but looked upon them as entirely lost,

as no longer in being,

and never more to be met with, seen, and enjoyed;

this drove them to extravagant actions, furious transports, and downright madness; as to throw off their clothes, pluck off their hair, tear their flesh, cut themselves, and make baldness between their eyes for the dead; see Deuteronomy 14:1 practices forbidden the Jews, and which very ill become Christians, that believe the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead:

the words are to be understood not of other Christians, who have no hope of the eternal welfare of their deceased friends; not but that the sorrow of those who have a good hope of the future Well being of their dear relatives, must and ought to be greatly different from that of others, who have no hope at all: it is observed by the Jews on those words in Genesis 23:2 and “Abraham came to mourn for Sarah”

“it is not said to weep for Sarah, but to mourn for her; “for such a woman as this, it is not fit to weep”, after her soul is joined in the bundle of life, but to mourn for her, and do her great honour at her funeral; though because it is not possible that a man should not weep for his dead, it is said at the end, “and to weep for her”:’

but here the words are to be understood of the other Gentiles that were in a state of nature and unregeneracy, who had no knowledge of the resurrection of the dead, or and hope of a future state, and of enjoying their friends in it: they are called οι λοιποι, “the rest”; and the Syriac version renders it, “other men”. (END QUOTE)

Grieve passionately for a time but keep in mind the hope we have in Christ.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Gill on John 13.1

The CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH.

Part 2 Chapter 6Section 1—John 13:1.

Having loved his own which were in the world he loved them unto the end.

These words are expressive of the unchangeable and everlasting love of Christ to his people; who are his own by choice, by his Father’s gift, and his own purchase. Now such shall certainly persevere to the end, and be eternally saved; for who shall separate from the love of Christ? But to this, the following things are objected.

1. That “Christ speaks not of them, whom he had chosen to eternal life, but of them only, whom he had chosen to be his apostles.”[1] To which I reply that though Christ speaks of his apostles, yet not of them all; I speak not of you all, says he, I know whom I have chosen: and of whom he does speak, he does not speak of them as chosen to be apostles, but as men chosen to eternal life; which was not the case of them all, nor were they all his own in this special sense; one of them was a devil, and the son of perdition. Nor does he speak only of these. Were none his own but the apostles? Had he no propriety in any but them? Certainly he had: and if he loved his apostles unto the end, why may he not be thought to love all to the end, who are equally his own, and equally loved by him as they were?

2. That Christ’s loving them to the end, only signifies “the affection he showed to them, by washing their feet when he was to leave them.”[2] To which may be replied, that this was not so much an instance of affection to them, as of humility and meekness; and was designed as an instruction and example to them, how they should behave to each other; and at most was an instance only of his love to them, and what Judas had a share in with the rest of the apostles; and not to be compared with some other instances of his love, and which were nearer the end of his life, as particularly his shedding his blood for them on the cross. Now there is no comparison between washing the feet of his disciples with water, and washing us from our sins in his own blood.

3. That he here speaks “not of his love of them to the end of their lives, but of his own life on earth.”[3] Christ’s love is not allowed to continue to the end of their lives, for that would prove their final perseverance; but the end of his life, as if his love ended with his life: whereas Christ still expresses his love to his people, by appearing in the presence of God, acting as an advocate, and interceding with the Father, and preparing mansions in his Father’s house for them. It is much, that the love of Christ to his own is not confined, by the writers of this cast, to supper time, or to the end of the supper; since it immediately follows, and supper being ended, which would scarce be a more jejune sense of the words than what is given. Why may not te>lov be understood of the end of their lives, as in Matthew 24:13? or of the end of the world? (vv. 6, 14), or of the end of all things, as in 1 Peter 4:7? Besides, eijv te>lov may be rendered continually, as it is in Luke 18:5, or for ever, in which sense it is used by the Septuagint in Psalm 9:6, 18, and Psalm 44:23, where it answers to t[nl, which signifies for ever: and agreeably the words may be read, Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them for ever, as they are rendered by the Ethiopic version. And then the sense of them is, that those who are Christ’s, are loved by him with an everlasting love; and therefore shall not perish, but have eternal life.

ENDNOTES:

[1] Whitby, p. 437; ed. 2. 426.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., and Remonstr. Coll. Hag. Art. V. p. 91.

Oh yes, it’s free!

Some great quotes found on Wiki, enjoy!

Christopher Ness
“Evangelical repentance is the gift of free grace; faith is the gift of God. What is God’s, as a gift to bestow, cannot be man’s duty to perform as a condition of salvation. Those who are invited to look to Christ, to come to Him for salvation, are very minutely described: they are the weary and heavy laden with sin, the penitent, the hungry and thirsty soul, etc., etc.; these are the characters invited to come to and believe in Christ, and not all men (Mt 11:28; Isa 55:1; Mr 2:17).”

J.H. Gosden
“We believe that all men are under obligation to believe and obey God. Though the Adam Fall utterly depraved and alienated human nature from God and goodness, rendering him as entirely incapable as unwilling to submit to God’s law, yet the divine Lawgiver has not lost His power to command and to judge. Man’s inability does not exonerate him… But what is every man duty-bound to believe? Surely not that each individual is himself interested in the redemption work of Christ, Man is not called upon to believe a lie.”

William Styles
“If Faith be a duty, it is a work; but according to the reasoning of the Apostle, the works of the Law are contradistinguished from Faith. Yet if Faith be a natural duty—though we are saved by grace—it is through the works of the law. The Covenant of Works is blended with the Covenant of Grace, and “grace is no more grace.”

Benjamin Taylor
“A man is called upon to believe in God so far as his knowledge goes of God, both in His works of grace and His works of providence. No man is called upon to believe what he never heard… To believe in Christ as my own Saviour is purely a spiritual act; and before I can do this, it is certain I must have a revelation of Christ to my soul.”

John Foreman
“…faith cannot be separated from any part of its connection and interest… If faith unto salvation be the natural man’s duty, then it must be the natural man’s duty to be all that the actual believer, through grace unto salvation, really and properly is… it must be the natural man’s duty to have all what the actual believer through grace unto salvation truly and properly has, according to the word of God… it must be the natural man’s duty for God himself to be to him all what by promise and gift he is to those who through grace do believe unto salvation… it must be the natural man’s duty for God to do for him, and give to him, all what by promise he does and gives to those who through grace do really believe unto salvation… If duty faith were a truth, it must have some meaning with God in regard to salvation; and such a meaning too, as that if it were the universal duty of all men, wherever the gospel comes, to believe unto salvation, then salvation would be as universal as the spread of the gospel, if all men did but do their duty.”

William Huntington
“…such doctrine had no good effect, either upon the saint, or upon the sinner: not to the saint, for he was sent to Moses for help; nor to the sinner, for he was sent to the physician before he was sick. Nor will God ever attend with his blessing and his seal such a doctrine as this to the conversion of any soul living… There is a great difference between law and gospel, works and grace, the letter and the Spirit; and between a legal commandment and a life-giving commandment.”

John Gill
“…the law is not of faith, so faith is not of the law. There is a faith indeed which the law requires and obliges to, namely, faith and trust in God, as the God of nature and providence; for as both the law of nature, and the law of Moses, show there is a God, and who is to be worshipped; they both require a belief of him, and trust and confidence in him… moreover the law obliges men to give credit to any revelation of the mind and will of God he has made, or should think fit to make unto them at any time; but as for special faith in Christ as a Saviour, or believing in him to the saving of the soul; this the law knows nothing of, nor does it make it known.”

John Gill
“The gospel is indeed ordered to be preached to every creature to whom it is sent and comes… And that there are universal offers of grace and salvation made to all men I utterly deny; nay, I deny they are made to any; no, not to God’s elect; grace and salvation are provided for them in the everlasting covenant, procured for them by Christ, published and revealed in the gospel, and applied by the Spirit.”

Robert Hawker
“And the advocates of a yea and nay gospel, all act in perfect conformity to those principles… Offers of Christ, yea pressing Christ upon the congregation, are the chief topics adopted. And sometimes, from the great earnestness with which they have worked up their natural feeling to persuade, they enforce the present opportunity as if, should it be neglected, never another perhaps may be afforded them.”

John Brine
“With respect to offers and tenders of mercy and salvation to sinners I observe: That Christ and his salvation are to be proposed for acceptance, to all who see their need of him, that this includes an offer in it, but is more than an offer, and that he is graciously given to them, and ‘tis their duty to embrace and receive him.”

William Tant
“If then the gospel is good tidings because it proclaims blessings that are given to, secured for, and wrought in the souls of all interested in them, independent of creature merit, creature wisdom, creature seeking, creature asking, or creature diligence; then that gospel which gives an opposite view of these things is not good tidings. An offered gospel does do so; therefore an offered gospel is a contradiction to itself, and cannot be the gospel of the ever blessed God, for he is not the author of confusion, 1 Cor. 14:23, Therefore an offered gospel is contrary to God’s Word and Will.”

Posted back in 2011

a soul purely naked

Two portions:worship

John Gill on true internal worship, “…the subject I am upon I consider it as an assemblage of graces, as containing the whole of grace in the heart, the exercise of which is necessary to serve and worship God with reverence and godly fear (Heb. 12:28), and without this there can be no internal worship of God. This is no other than the inward devotion of the mind, a fervency of spirit in serving the Lord; it is a holy disposition of the soul towards God. This is qeosebeia, the true worship of God (1 Tim. 2:10), the ground and foundation of it, without which there can be none. This is “life and godliness”, or vital powerful godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), and “the things pertaining” to it are faith, hope, love, and every other grace, of which it consists, and in the exercise of which it lies, and in this is all internal religion and worship.”

On true and experimental religion, “Now as inward powerful godliness is, as has been seen, a disposition of the soul Godward, from whom all grace comes and to whom it tends, and as it is an assemblage of every grace, in the exercise of which all internal worship and experimental religion lies, I therefore begin with it, and shall in the following chapters consider the branches of it in which it opens; as the knowledge of God, repentance towards God, fear of him, faith and trust in him, the hope of things from him, love to him, joy in him, humility, self-denial, patience, submission, and resignation to the will of God, thankfulness for every mercy, with every other grace necessary to the worship of God, and which belongs to experimental religion and godliness.” (Practical Theology)

William Gurnall on carnal Christians who place their trust in themselves, their prayers, their religion, “When Satan tempts to sin, if he hath not presently a peaceable entrance, yet the resistance commonly made is carnal; the strength carnal they rest on, their own, not God’s; the motive’s carnal, as the fear of man more than of God; [as to which] one saith, ‘How shall I do this and sin against God?’ Many in their hearts say, How shall I do this and anger man, displease my master, provoke my parents, and lose the good opinion of my minister?  Herod feared John, and did many things.  Had he feared God, he would have laboured to have done everything. The like may be said of all other motives, which have their spring in the creature, not in God; they are armour which will not out-stand shot.”

And further, “A soul purely naked, nothing like the wedding garment on, he is speechless.  The drunkard hath nothing to say for himself, when you ask him why he lives so swinishly; you may come up to him, and get within him, and turn the very mouth of his conscience upon him, which will shoot into him.  But come to deal with one who prays and hears, one that is a pretender to faith and hope in God; here is a man in glittering armour, he hath his weapon in his hand, with which he will keep the preacher, and the word he chargeth him with, at arm’s length.  Who can say I am not a saint?  What duty do I neglect?  Here is a breastwork he lies under, which makes him not so fair a mark either to the observation or reproof of another; his chief defect being within, where man’s eye comes not.  Again, it is harder to work on him, because he hath been tampered with already, and miscarried in the essay.  How comes such a one to be acquainted with such duties—to make such a profession?  Was it ever thus?  No, the word hath been at work upon him, his conscience hath scared him from his trade of wickedness, into a form of profession, but, taking in short of Christ, for want of a thorough change, it is harder to remove him than the other.” (The Christian in Complete Armour)

(edited to add a note I found on Wiki: “The writing style is akin to that of the King James Bible, so in 1988 [Banner of Truth Trust] did a revised and abridged version in contemporary English.” The edition published by Hendrickson is the one I’d recommend.)

The Doctrine Of Justification

It’s a new year but I want that old time religion!john_gill

John Gill explains the heart of the Gospel – the doctrine of justification:

Justification is an act of God’s free grace, whereby he clears his people from sin, discharges them from condemnation, and reckons and accounts them righteous for the sake of Christ’s righteousness, which he has accepted of, and imputes unto them. Some very excellent divines have distinguished justification into active and passive.

Active justification is God’s act, it is God that justifies;

passive justification is the same act, terminating on the conscience of the believer;

active justification is strictly and properly justification,

passive justification is improperly so;

active justification precedes faith,

passive justification is by faith.

Again, justification may be considered either in foro Dei, and so it is an eternal, immanent act in God: or in foro conscientiae, and so it is declarative to and upon the conscience of the believer; or in foro mundi, and so it will be notified to men and angels at the general judgement.

The Everlasting Covenant of Redemption

covenant02

God the Father is the contriver of the scheme and method of our justification; he was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses; (2 Cor. 5:19) he drew the model and platform of it, which is Nodus Deo vindice dignus. It would have remained a puzzling question to men and angels, how should man be just with God? had not his grace employed his wisdom to find out a ransom, whereby he has delivered his people from going down to the pit of corruption; which ransom is no other than his own Son, whom he sent, in the fullness of time, to execute the scheme he had so wisely formed in his eternal mind which he did by finishing transgression, making an end of sin

 

, making reconciliation for iniquity, and bringing in an everlasting righteousness; which righteousness, being wrought out by Christ, God was well pleased with, because hereby his law was magnified and made honourable; and, having graciously accepted of it, he imputes it freely to all his people, and reckons their righteous on the account of it.

God the Son, as God, is the co-efficient cause of it, with his Father. As he has equal power with him to forgive sin, he also has to acquit, discharge, and justify from it. As Mediator, he is the Head and Representative; in whom all the seed of Israel are justified; as such, he has wrought out a righteousness, answerable to the demands of the law, by which they are justified; and is the Author and Finisher of that faith, which looks unto, lays hold on, and apprehends that righteousness for justification.

God the Holy Ghost convinces men of the weakness, imperfection, and insufficiency of their own righteousness to justify them before God; he brings near, and sets before them, the righteousness of Christ, and works faith in them to lay hold on it, and receive it; he intimates to their consciences the justifying sentence of God, on the account of Christ’s righteousness, and bears a testimony to and with their spirits, that they are justified persons; and hence the saints are said to be justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God; (1 Cor. 6:11) but this testimony of the Spirit is not so properly justification in itself, as an actual perception of it, before granted, by a kind of a reflex act of faith, as Dr. Ames expresses it. Now this is the part which Father, Son, and Spirit, severally bear in justification: the Father has contrived it, the Son has procured it, and the Spirit applies it. 

 

One Last Thing

It is an act of God’s free Grace: Being justified freely by his grace. (Rom. 3:24) It was grace that resolved on, and fixed the scheme and method of justification: and which called and moved Christ to engage as a surety for his people; and which sent him, in the fullness of time, to work out a righteousness for them. And then it was grace in God to accept of this righteousness for them, and to impute it to them, and bestow faith on them to receive it; especially will all this appear to be free grace, when it is considered that these persons are all by nature sinners, and ungodly ones; yea, many of them the chief of sinners.

It is universal and not partial. All God’s elect are justified, and that from all things, as in our text, that is, from all their sins, and are freed from all that punishment which is due unto them. The whole righteousness of Christ is imputed to them; by being hereby justified, they are perfect and complete in him.grace

 It is an individual act, which is done at once, and admits of no degrees. The sins of God’s elect were laid at once on Christ, and he made satisfaction for them at once. God accepted of Christ’s righteousness, and imputed it at once unto his people, who all have their sins and transgressions forgiven at once. The sense of justification, indeed, admits of degrees: for the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; (Rom. 1:17) but justification itself does not. There are several fresh declarations, or manifestations, or repetitions of the act of justification; as at the resurrection of Christ; and again, by the testimony of the Spirit to the conscience of the believer; and last of all, at the general judgement, before men and angels. But justification, as it is an act of God, is but one, and is done at once, and admits of no degrees; and is not carried on in a gradual and progressive way as sanctification is.

 It is equal to all, or all are alike justified. The same price was paid for the redemption of one, as for another; and the same righteousness is imputed to one, as to another; and, like precious faith, is given to one, as to another though not to all in the same degree, yet the weakest believer is as much justified as the strongest, and the greatest sinner as the smallest. Though one man may have more sanctifying grace than another, yet no man has more justifying righteousness than another.

It is irreversible and unalterable. It is according to an immutable decree, which can never be frustrated. It is one of God’s gifts, which are without repentance: it is one of the blessings of the covenant of grace, which can never be broken. The righteousness by which the saints are justified is an everlasting one; and that faith, by which they receive it, shall never fail: And though a righteous man may fall into sin, yet he shall never fall from his righteousness, nor shall he ever enter into condemnation, but be eternally glorified.

 Justification, though it frees persons from sin, and discharges them from punishment due unto it, yet it does not take sin out of them. By it, indeed, they are freed from sin, insomuch that God sees no iniquity in them to condemn them for it. Though he sees and beholds all the sins of his people, in articulo providentiae, in respect of providence, and chastises them for them; yet in articulo justificationis, in respect of justification, he sees none in them; they being acquitted, discharged, and justified from all. Nevertheless sin dwells in them For there is not a just man upon earth that liveth and sinneth not. (Eccl. 7:20)

It does not destroy the law, nor discourage a careful performance of good works. It does not destroy the law, or make it void; no, it establishes it; for the righteousness by which we are justified, is every way commensurate to the demands of the law; by it the law is magnified, and made honourable. Nor are persons, by this doctrine, discouraged from the performance of good works; for this doctrine of grace teaches men, That denying ungodliness, and worldly lusts, they should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. (Titus 2:11, 12) To conclude: If your souls are under the powerful and comfortable influence of this doctrine, you will, in the first place, bless God for Jesus Christ, by whose obedience you are made righteous: You will value his justifying righteousness, and make mention of it at all proper times; you will glory alone in Christ, and will give the whole glory of your justification to him; and will be earnestly and studiously desirous of having your conversations as become the gospel of Christ, and this truth of it in particular.

(complete article here)

Was Gill a Hyper?

From 2010: We should keep in mind that it’s not a clear cut issue, “Gill’s relationship with hyper-Calvinism is a matter of academic debate.”

Quote: First, this view applied to Gill is an anachronism as the idea of saving faith being the known duty and within the natural ability of all men reached its fullest expression amongst the Baptists in 1785 with the publication of Andrew Fuller`s controversial book The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation. Gill, however, died in 1771 thus obviously having nothing to do with the debate that tore the Baptist churches apart after the book was published.

The second reason is that during the earlier part of the 18th century the view of what came to be called ´duty-faith`, formerly propagated by Anglican Latitudinarians such as Tillotson , was gaining ground amongst the Independents but Gill, a staunch Baptist, maintained he did not take part in this debate . Even Andrew Fuller believed that Gill did not enter into the controversy and John Ryland Jnr, quoting Gill`s The Cause of God and Truth, argued that Gill never wrote on the subject of ´the Modern Question ` and exonerates him from taking the usual Hyper-Calvinist stand. John Rippon assumes that Gill did enter the debate in later life because of certain ´corrections` he made to his book The Cause of God and Truth. Rippon, however, does not state what these ´corrections`, are and how they might have applied to the debate in question .

When Gill denies man’s ability to repent he’s not saying that it’s not their duty to do so but that, “the power and liberty of the will of man to come to Christ , that they rather declare the perverseness and stubbornness of it; that man has no desire, inclination, or will, to go to Christ for life, but rather go anywhere else, than to him. Man is stout-hearted, and far from the righteousness of Christ, and submission to it; is not subject to the law of God, nor the Gospel of Christ; nor can he be, till God works in him both to will and to do of his good pleasure; or until he is made willing in the day of his power. No one can come to Christ, except the Father draw him; nor has he a will to it, unless it is wrought in him .” [quoted from the Ella article linked below]

The hyper Calvinist will conclude that since they can’t/won’t come to Christ they can’t be expected to do so.

The Confessions:

“This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrency, praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavor, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all wellpleasing in all things. Zech. 12:10; Acts 11:18; Ezek. 36:31; 2 Cor. 7:11; Ps. 119:6, 128.” Tabular Comparison of 1646 WCF and 1689 LBCF

I think Gill’s views are high but within the Confessional realm of Reformed theology, the Confession does not deny duty faith but makes it clear that “saving repentance is an evangelical grace” using Gill’s term “sensible” to describe the work of the Spirit.

A few places to look:

Tom Nettles says of Gill, “He has doubtless been judged more harshly and even maliciously than any man of comparable repute in Baptist history.” Many have called John Gill a hyper-Calvinist who denied the need to preach the gospel to the lost. I will not seek to answer that question in this forum. Read Tom Nettles By His Grace and For His Glory, pages 73-107, for a thorough and balanced discussion of this issue

John Gill – The Baptist Page – Portraits

It’s not a settled issue:

“Gill’s relationship with hyper-Calvinism is a matter of academic debate.”

(John Gill (theologian – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

A little more:

Nettles finds one place where Gill “appears to hold the hyper-Calvinist view,” in that “Theoretically Gill held that the non-elect were not obligated to evangelical obedience, because the necessity of such obedience did not exist in unfallen humanity as deposited in Adam” (226). Nettles demonstrates, however, that this view did not work its way into Gill’s own practice (227). Gill disputed with Wesley, but he “did not differ in any essential theological category from the Grand Itinerant, George Whitefield” (241).

Some took hold of Gill’s “theoretical” answer, and as a result they did not call sinners to repentance. They reasoned like Grantham: sinners are not obligated to do what they are unable to do (247–48). Helped by Jonathan Edwards’ distinction between Natural Inability—what one is physically unable to do, and Moral Inability—what one is unable to do because one is unwilling to do it (the Gospel does not call people to do what they are physically incapable of doing but to what they volitionally refuse to do)—Andrew Fuller wrote The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation, which argued for “the congruity between divine sovereignty and human responsibility” (250). Like their Baptist forefathers, Fuller joined with John Ryland Jr. and William Carey in the opinion that “the affirmative side of the Modern Question [the Gospel should be indiscriminately proclaimed and all called to believe it] was fully consistent with the strictest Calvinism” (290). These three men who held to “the strictest Calvinism” initiated the modern missions movement. Clearly “strict Calvinism” is not to be equated with “hyper-Calvinism,” which Fuller rejects as “false Calvinism” (245). There is an important point here. Hyper-Calvinism is a specific theological position. It seems today that some non-Calvinists are ready to label anyone who appears to be less evangelistic than they think themselves to be as hyper-Calvinistic. The rejection of manipulative methods and coercive techniques in favor of boldly proclaiming the pure Gospel and trusting the Spirit to quicken hearts is not less evangelistic but more so (compare Paul’s practice in 1 Cor 2:1–5).

The Baptists, vol. 1 of 3, by Tom Nettles « For His Renown

Another one:

A Hyper-Calvinist, Gill`s major critics say, does not believe that God calls indiscriminately all who hear about Christ to believe in Him. They say this, holding that man is obliged as a matter of duty to trust in Christ as a condition of salvation. It is odd that this opinion is often closely associated with Gill for several reasons. First, this view applied to Gill is an anachronism as the idea of saving faith being the known duty and within the natural ability of all men reached its fullest expression amongst the Baptists in 1785 with the publication of Andrew Fuller`s controversial book The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation. Gill, however, died in 1771 thus obviously having nothing to do with the debate that tore the Baptist churches apart after the book was published. The second reason is that during the earlier part of the 18th century the view of what came to be called ´duty-faith`, formerly propagated by Anglican Latitudinarians such as Tillotson , was gaining ground amongst the Independents but Gill, a staunch Baptist, maintained he did not take part in this debate . Even Andrew Fuller believed that Gill did not enter into the controversy and John Ryland Jnr, quoting Gill`s The Cause of God and Truth, argued that Gill never wrote on the subject of ´the Modern Question ` and exonerates him from taking the usual Hyper-Calvinist stand . John Rippon assumes that Gill did enter the debate in later life because of certain ´corrections` he made to his book The Cause of God and Truth. Rippon, however, does not state what these ´corrections`, are and how they might have applied to the debate in question .

In The Cause of God Gill clearly stresses the Christian duty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to call and command sinners to repent . All men are naturally bound to repent, argues Gill, because they have naturally broken the law. Commanding them to repent is putting them under the curse of the law which they have broken in their natural state. To Gill, this is a law-ordained need for repentance in the legal sense. What man has broken, he has a duty to mend. This does not mean, however, that man can mend what he has broken and obtain legal righteousness, but he is still a debtor to the law for having broken it. The law forces its demands on every one because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. What Gill calls evangelical repentance, is for him another matter. He sees this as a turning form sin to receive pardon in Christ. This kind of turning from sin to Christ can only come about by a sovereign act of God`s goodness which leads to true repentance and Gospel righteousness.

Calvin taught likewise that there was an ´antithesis between Legal and Gospel (i.e. evangelical) righteousness`. Quoting Romans 10:5-9, he argues that there is a righteousness which is according to the Law described by Moses, “that the man who doeth those things shall live by them”. This is quite different to the righteousness of faith which says, “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

John_Gill_and_Hyper-Calvinism

Some have attributed to Gill to be the first systematizer of a Baptist Hyper-Calvinist theology. Others have argued that Gill was in fact not a Hyper-Calvinist. Regardless, it was during Gill’s time period when the Particular Baptist Churches began their decline into Hyper-Calvinism. Gill did believe in eternal justification (that the elect were justified in eternity past) and did not seem to appeal to all in the same way that further generations of Evangelical Calvinists did, but it seems difficult to say that Gill was undeniably in fact a Hyper-Calvinist. Instead, most likely, Hyper-Calvinists used Gill’s theology and went past him to solidify their own theology.

Brief Biography of John Gill (1697-1771) « Working out Salvation with Fear and Trembling

Nettles says that Daniel started with the assumption that Gill was a hyper-Calvinist, and then defined hyper-Calvinism from Gill. For ages, people have said that Gill was a hyper-Calvinist without offering any proof from the writings or sermons of Gill (or at least not in context), and people simply accept what they are told.

Another reason people mistakenly believe that Gill was a hyper-Calvinist is they do not read his supposed anti-free offer comments in the context in which they were written. Usually, in these cases, he was writing against universal salvation. He did not deny that ministers should urge sinners to believe. He simply said that this external call in and of itself can do nothing. There must also be the irresistable internal call of the Holy Spirit as well.

The Sane Asylum: Another John Gill Post

New Focus | That the purpose of God according to election might stand

New Focus Interview on Hyper-Calvinism