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brothagary
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Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1863


 Re:

hi brothers and sisters ,,,just thought i would post this before the thred gets locked ,,,,,,just so we can see that both thological systems are verry similar


christcovenant-pca.com



Calvin 500: The Five Points of Calvinism
As we are nearing the five hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, we are celebrating
this by spending five weeks looking at Calvin and his importance. Last week, we looked at the life
of John Calvin. This week we will look at “the five points of Calvinism.”
John Calvin was such an influential pastor and theologian that his views became a major system of
theology known as “Calvinism.” Originally, the label Calvinism was applied to the entire body of
Calvin’s theology, but today, Calvinism is used almost exclusively to refer his views on salvation or
soteriology (soter = salvation). Thus, one can disagree with Calvin on any number of issues, but
so long as he agrees with Calvin on soteriology, he is called a Calvinist.
The Sovereignty of God
What was Calvin’s view on salvation? What is Calvinism? John Calvin is best known for his
emphasis on the sovereignty of God in salvation. The “sovereignty of God” means that God is the
King and in control, having the right, the power, and the wisdom to do whatever he pleases. Of
course, everyone believes in the general sovereignty of God.
Psalm 115:3
Yet, it is Calvin who is most known for trumpeting the sovereignty of God in salvation. Particularly,
Calvin recovered an understanding that God saves whom he wants to save.
The History of the Five Points
This view of the sovereignty of God in salvation is often stated in five main points, which are known
as “The Five Points of Calvinism.” Now, Calvin did not actually write about these five points as
being the sum of his thought on soteriology. You will never find a pamphlet entitled, “My Five
Points by John Calvin.” The five points came to fruition after Calvin’s death.
John Calvin’s successor at Geneva was Theodore Beza. Beza was a gifted teacher and theologian
who heartily carried on Calvin’s work at Geneva. Beza had a student named Jacobus Arminius
(1560-1609). After completing his time of training in Geneva, Arminius took a position in Holland in
1603. At this time he as a strict Calvinist. However, while in Holland, Arminius faced stiff opposition
to Calvin’s teachings. While he was defending attacks on Calvin’s teachings, Arminius was
persuaded to criticize certain aspects of John Calvin’s teaching. Arminius still considered himself a
Calvinist, for indeed, he still held to many of Calvin’s views. However, Arminius disagreed with
Calvin’s soteriology.
Arminius wanted to revise some of the creeds of the church to fit his new theological views, but he
died in 1609 before he was able to accomplish this. In the following year, Arminius’s followers,
known as Arminians, drew up their own creed. This creed was based upon five key points of
disagreement that Arminius had with Calvinism. The Arminians embraced much of Calvinism, but
they objected to these five points. Their creed is known as the Remonstrance (disagreement or
protest).
Calvin’s followers, the Calvinists, objected to the teaching of the Remonstrance. They responded
with the Counter-Remonstrance. Eventually, the Calvinists held a council to refute the
Remonstrance. The Calvinists met in Dort from 1618-1619. This meeting is commonly called the
Synod of Dort. During this meeting, the Calvinists produced a response to the Remonstrance. Since
the Remonstrance was centered on five key points of disagreement with Calvinism, the Calvinists
produced a five-fold response. This response is known as the Canons of Dort. The five points that
the Canons of Dort articulate have come to be called “the five points of Calvinism.” So, “the five
points of Calvinism” are not a summary of Calvin’s teaching. They are not something that Calvin
devised. The five points arose as a response to the Arminians’ objections to Calvinism.
The five points are commonly known by these descriptions:
1. Total Depravity
2. Unconditional Election
3. Limited Atonement
4. Irresistible Grace
5. Perseverance of the Saints
Christ Covenant Sunday School (2009-06-28) 1/4
Calvin 500: The Five Points of Calvinism
This produces the acronym TULIP. Bear in mind that while the content of these five points can be
traced back to the Canons of Dort, these particular labels and the acronym TULIP first appeared in
1932, in Loraine Boettner’s work, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.
1) Total Depravity
Total depravity means that every part of man is corrupt, bad, and wicked. Man’s whole being has
been affected by sin. Sin affects man’s body, soul, intellect, will, emotions, conscience, etc. Every
part of man has been affected by sin.
Man is Dead
Sin makes a person spiritually dead.
Ephesians 2:1
Colossians 2:13
Unbelievers are dead spiritually. They are alive physically, but dead spiritually. That is, they cannot
respond spiritually. Unbelievers not only do not believe in God, but they cannot believe in God.
Unbelieving man has no capacity to believe in God.
Man Must Be Made Alive
Before an unbeliever can believe in God, he must first be made alive spiritually.
Ephesians 2:1
Colossians 2:13
Man is dead, but God makes him alive. This is known in theology as regeneration or being born
again. Calvin held that regeneration was a sovereign act of God not based upon anything that a
person is or does. In fact, the distinction between Calvinism and Arminianism can be boiled down
to the relationship between regeneration and faith. Arminians hold that faith precedes
regeneration. That is, everyone is equally capable of believing in God. Once a person believes, then
God causes him to be born again. Calvinists hold that regeneration precedes faith. That is,
unbelievers cannot believe unless God first regenerates them. Once God causes someone to be
born again, then he is capable of believing.
Illustration
The Arminian says that man is in trouble. He is like a man who has taken a sea cruise and has
fallen off of the boat. He is drowning at sea and about to go under. Someone throws him a life
preserve, and with his last effort, he grabs the life preserver and is hauled back onto the boat.
Grabbing the life preserver is equivalent to the act of faith.
The Calvinist says that man is in trouble. He is like a man who has taken a sea cruise and has
fallen off of the boat. Man has drowned and is a corpse floating face down in the water. He is
dead and incapable of saving himself. God must bring the dead man back to life. Regeneration
precedes faith.
John Calvin is called the theologian of the Holy Spirit because of his emphasis on the sovereign
work of the Spirit in regeneration. Total depravity is the lynchpin for the five points. All the other
five points depend upon understanding that man is dead spiritually.
2) Unconditional Election
Election refers to the fact that God chooses whom to save.
1 Thessalonians 1:4
Another related word is predestination.
Ephesians 1:5
Christ Covenant Sunday School (2009-06-28) 2/4
Calvin 500: The Five Points of Calvinism
Predestination refers to deciding a person’s destiny ahead of time (pre + desination). Every
Christian believes in election and predestination. These terms should not be controversial. Calvin
taught that election and predestination are unconditional. That is, God chooses whom to save. This
choosing is not based upon anything that man does, but on God’s choice.
Romans 9:10-12
God chose Jacob and not Esau. This choice, or election, was made before either had even been
born. Thus, it was an unconditional election.
Romans 9:14-16
Arminians argue that God looks down the corridor of time, sees who will believe, and then chooses
them. This is conditional election. It is conditioned upon the faith of man. Calvin held that God
elects based upon his own pleasure, not based upon anything in man.
3) Limited Atonement
This is the most controversial of the five points. Calvin argued that Christ died only for the elect,
only for those whom he had chosen.
Ephesians 5:25
Thus, Christ did not die for every single person who ever lived. He only died for those who were
elect and would become believers. Thus, the atonement is limited in scope. Arminians argue for an
unlimited atonement. That is, Christ died for everyone who ever lived. He made salvation possible
for everyone.
John 3:16
John 1:29
However, all Calvinists believe that Christ’s death is of infinite value. Hypothetically, if God decided
today that he wanted to elect one additional person, nothing about the atonement would change.
Jesus would not have to die on the cross again. Jesus’ suffering on the cross was of infinite value,
so that Jesus could have saved every man, woman, and child who was ever conceived. In this
sense, the atonement is unlimited and infinite.
Illustration
Calvinists: Atonement is like a narrow bridge that goes all the way across the stream
Arminian: Atonement is like a wide bridge that goes half-way across the stream.
Two Practical Considerations
1) A Calvinist says is, “Everyone whose sins are paid for is in heaven. No one in hell had their sins
paid for; otherwise, they would be in heaven.” The Arminian says is, “Everyone in hell had their
sins paid for.” The practical question put to the Arminian becomes: Why is that person in hell? Hell
is to punish for sins, but if everyone’s sins have been paid for, then why does God send unbelievers
to hell? This is a real dilemma for the Arminian: people are in hell paying for their sins, which Jesus
has already paid for. This is double jeopardy.
2) When Jesus was on the cross, was he paying for the sins of all the unbelievers who had already
died? Was he paying for the sins of Cain? Was he paying for the sins of those who died in the
flood? Was he paying for the sins of Ishmael and Esau? Was he paying for the sins of Absalom and
Jezebel? What about Herod? Herod was the one who commanded all babies in Bethlehem be slain.
This Herod died before Jesus did. Did Jesus pay for his sins? It seems rather ridiculous to imagine
that Jesus was dying for the sins of those whose eternal fates were already sealed. By extension, it
seems rather ridiculous to imagine that Jesus was dying for the sins of those whom he knew would
never believe.
Christ Covenant Sunday School (2009-06-28) 3/4
Calvin 500: The Five Points of Calvinism
4) Irresistible Grace
Calvin held that God draws the elect so that they cannot resist his grace. However, this is not like a
tractor beam. God’s wooing is so powerful and attractive that the elect has no desire to reject God.
He wants to be saved.
John 6:37
This helps to explain how God’s election and the will of man interact. God chooses to save a
person, and he then begins to draw him to himself. God regenerates the man, and the man
believes. Once a person is regenerated, he will always believe in Christ. Arminians argue that God
draws all of mankind. Man is capable of either believing or resisting God. Calvin argued that God
does draw all mankind but not equally. The non-elect are drawn but not all the way to salvation
whereas the elect are drawn all the way to faith and salvation.
5) Perseverance of the Saints
Perseverance of the saints means that those who are believers will continue to believe and act like
believers throughout their lives.
Matthew 24:13
We are not saved because we endure, but we endure because we are saved. Endurance is a fruit of
salvation. It is not the cause of salvation. Perseverance is different from preservation. Preservation
is the doctrine that God preserves those who are his. Another name for this is eternal security.
Once God saves someone, that person is saved forever.
Related Historical Views
The debate over depravity, predestination, election, etc., did not begin in the 16th century with
Calvinists and Arminians. Rather, this is an on-going debate that has surfaced at various times in
church history.
Augustine and Pelagius
The original debate began in the 4th century between Augustine and Pelagius. Augustine held to
what we today call “Calvinism.” Actually, Calvin was most influenced by Augustine. He learned
predestination from Augustine.
Pelagius objected to Augustine’s teachings. Augustine taught that man was depraved. Pelagius
taught that man was good. Adam fell, but this did not really affect his seed, except to set a bad
example. Augustine spent much energy refuting Pelagius. Eventually, Pelagius lost because
Pelagianism is not compatible with the teachings of the Bible.
However, some who were sentimental to Pelagius’s teachings modified his position. They said that
man was fallen, but not so far that he couldn’t pick himself back up. This became known as Semi-
Pelagianism. This is basically equivalent to Arminianism.
Hyper-Calvinism
There is also an extreme form of election that often gets mistaken for Calvinism. When someone
first recognizes the sovereignty of God in salvation, they often become a hyper-Calvinist. That is,
they view mankind as simply robots or automatons who are following God’s programming. Yet,
Scripture does not present this view.
John 3:16
We are to preach the gospel to everyone, and those who are elect will respond. What is the call of
the gospel? We tell people to repent and believe. Those who are elect will be able to repent and
believe because they will have already been regenerated.
True Calvinism maintains the healthy balance that the Scriptures teach, without minimizing either
the sovereignty of God or forgetting the freedom of man.
Christ Covenant Sunday School (2009-06-28) 4/4

 2012/5/24 5:36Profile
brothagary
Member



Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1863


 Re:

John Wesley’s Sermon at the Funeral of George Whitefield
from web sight arminian today

In our day it is not uncommon for Arminians and Calvinists to divide over their theological differences. Does this have to be? John Wesley and George Whitefield stand as giants of the faith. They both were passionate about Jesus Christ and His kingdom. Both men strongly believed that all men must hear the gospel and that all people must be born again to enter the kingdom (John 3:3-7; Acts 17:30-31). Both Wesley and Whitefield believed in the power of God to bring about the salvation of souls through the gospel (Romans 1:16-17).

And yet both men strongly disagreed with each other. Wesley was an Arminian and Whitefield was a Calvinist. On a practical level both men lived lives of holiness and both were passionate about prayer and evangelism. In the history of the evangelical church in England and the Western world, both John Wesley and George Whitefield stand as men who rose up in a dark hour to preach the good news to set people free from sin and defeat the devil. But with each other, they often debated passionately over their theological differences. And yet they did so in love. If anyone doubts the love that John Wesley had for his friend George Whitefield, one need only read the sermon that Wesley preached at the funeral of Whitefield. A reading of the sermon from Wesley leaves no doubt that he loved Whitefield and considered him a man of God to be praised for his passionate love for Jesus. What you won’t find is Wesley trying to take shots at Whitefield’s Calvinism. Instead you find that he shows the grace of God at work in the life of Whitefield.



How I think we need to love for the good among each other from time to time. John Wesley and George Whitefield could have easily avoided each other and went their separate ways over their theological differences but instead they chose to love each other in the Lord even while disagreeing. The same can be true of us today. We can learn from the examples of Wesley and Whitefield and we can learn to love each other in the Lord. For both the Arminian and the Calvinist, our salvation is not based on the works, writings, life, or death of either John Calvin or James Arminius. Our salvation is found only in Jesus and we should unite around Him. Jesus is the Head of the true Church and if you are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and His blood, you are in the true Church and you are my brother or my sister in Jesus (Galatians 3:26-29; Colossians 1:15-18). We can unite, as Wesley and Whitefield did, around Jesus and around preaching that all “must be born again” or they have no hope. The gospel, praise God, is not Arminianism or Calvinism but it is about Christ and His work on the cross and His glorious resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

So let us learn from Wesley and from Whitefield and even if we disagree and even if we debate, let us do so in love and in grace

 2012/5/24 5:41Profile
brothagary
Member



Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1863


 Re:

a snipet of the sermon from john weasly ,,,,,


II. 1. We are, in the second place, to take some view of his character. A little sketch of this was soon after published in the Boston Gazette; an extract of which is subjoined: -- ["Little can be said of him but what every friend to vital Christianity who has sat under his ministry will attest."]

"In his public labors he has, for many years, astonished the world with his eloquence and devotion. With what divine pathos did he persuade the impenitent sinner to embrace the practice of piety and virtue! [Filled with the spirit of grace, he] spoke from the heart, and, with a fervency of zeal perhaps unequalled since the day of the Apostles, [adorned the truths he delivered with the most graceful charms of rhetoric and oratory.] From the pulpit he was unrivalled in the command of an ever-crowded auditory. Nor was he less agreeable and instructive in his private conversation; happy in a remarkable ease of address, willing to communicate, studious to edify. May the rising generation catch a spark of that flame which shone, with such distinguished luster, in the spirit and practice of this faithful servant of the most high God!"

2. A more particular, and equally just, character of him has appeared in one of the English papers. It may not be disagreeable to you to add the substance of this likewise: --

"The character of this truly pious person must be [deeply] impressed on the heart of every friend to vital religion. In spite of a tender [and delicate] constitution, he continued to the last day of his life, preaching with a frequency and fervor that seemed to exceed the natural strength of the most robust. Being called to the exercise of his function at an age when most young men are only beginning to qualify themselves for it, he had not time to make a very considerable progress in the learned languages. But this defect was amply supplied by a lively and fertile genius, by fervent zeal, and by a forcible and most persuasive delivery. And though in the pulpit he often found it needful by "the terrors of the Lord" to "persuade men," he had nothing gloomy in his nature; being singularly cheerful, as well as charitable and tender-hearted. He was as ready to relieve the bodily as the spiritual necessities of those that applied to him. It ought also to be observed, that he constantly enforced upon his audience every moral duty; particularly industry in their several callings, and obedience to their superiors. He endeavored, by the most extraordinary efforts of preaching, in different places, and even in the open fields, to rouse the lower class of people from the last degree of inattention and ignorance to a sense of religion. For this, and his other labors, the name of GEORGE WHITEFIELD will long be remembered with esteem and veneration."

3. That both these accounts are just and impartial, will readily be allowed; that is, as far as they go. But they go little farther than the outside of his character. They show you the preacher, but not the man, the Christian, the saint of God. May I be permitted to add a little on this head, from a personal knowledge of near forty years? Indeed, I am thoroughly sensible how difficult it is to speak on so delicate a subject; what prudence is required to avoid both extremes, to say neither too little nor too much! Nay, I know it is impossible to speak at all, to say either less or more, without incurring from some the former, from others the latter censure. Some will seriously think that too little is said; and others, that it is too much. But without attending to this, I will speak just what I know, before Him to whom we are all to give an account.

4. Mention has already been made of his unparalleled zeal, his indefatigable activity, his tender-heartedness to the afflicted, and charitableness toward the poor. But should we not likewise mention his deep gratitude to all whom God had used as instruments of good to him? -- of whom he did not cease to speak in the most respectful manner, even to his dying day. Should we not mention, that he had a heart susceptible of the most generous and the most tender friendship? I have frequently thought that this, of all others, was the distinguishing part of his character. How few have we known of so kind a temper, of such large and flowing affections! Was it not principally by this, that the hearts of others were so strangely drawn and knit to him? Can anything but love beget love? This shone in his very countenance, and continually breathed in all his words, whether in public or private. Was it not this, which, quick and penetrating as lightning, flew from heart to heart? which gave that life to his sermons, his conversations, his letters? Ye are witnesses!

5. But away with the vile misconstruction of men of corrupt minds, who know of no love but what is earthly and sensual! Be it remembered, at the same time, that he was endued with the most nice and unblemished modesty. His office called him to converse very frequently and largely with women as well as men; and those of every age and condition. But his whole behavior towards them was a practical comment on that advice of St. Paul to Timothy: "Entreat the elder women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all purity."

6. Meantime, how suitable to the friendliness of his spirit was the frankness and openness of his conversation! -- although it was as far removed from rudeness on the one hand, as from guile [and disguise] on the other. Was not this frankness at once a fruit and a proof of his courage and intrepidity? Armed with these, he feared not the faces of men, but "used great plainness of speech" to persons of every rank and condition, high and low, rich and poor; endeavoring only "by manifestation of the truth to commend himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God."

7. Neither was he afraid of labor or pain, any more than of "what man [could] do unto him;" being equally

Patient in bearing ill and doing well.
And this appeared in the steadiness wherewith he pursued whatever he undertook for his Master's sake. Witness one instance for all, -- the Orphan-house in Georgia; which he began and perfected, in spite of all discouragements. Indeed, in whatever concerned himself he was pliant and flexible. In this case he was "easy to be entreated;" easy to be either convinced or persuaded. But he was immovable in the things of God, or wherever his conscience was concerned. None could persuade, any more than affright, him to vary, in the least point, from that integrity which was inseparable from his whole character, and regulated all his words and actions. Herein he did

Stand as an iron pillar strong,
And steadfast as a wall of brass.
8. If it be inquired what was the foundation of this integrity, or of his sincerity, courage, patience, and every other valuable and amiable quality; it is easy to give the answer. It was not the excellence of his natural temper, not the strength of his understanding; it was not the force of education; no, nor the advice of his friends: it was no other than faith in a bleeding Lord; "faith of the operation of God." It was "a lively hope of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away." It was "the love of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost which was given unto him," filling his soul with tender, disinterested love to every child of man. From this source arose that torrent of eloquence which frequently bore down all before it; from this, that astonishing force of persuasion which the most hardened sinners could not resist. This it was which often made his "head as waters, and his eyes a fountain of tears." This it was which enabled him to pour out his soul in prayer, in a manner peculiar to himself, with such fullness and ease united together, with such strength and variety both of sentiment and expression.

9. I may close this head with observing what an honor it pleased God to put upon His faithful servant, by allowing him to declare His everlasting gospel in so many various countries, to such numbers of people, and with so great an effect on so many of their precious souls! Have we read or heard of any person since the Apostles, who testified the gospel of the grace of God through so widely extended a space, through so large a part of the habitable world? Have we read or heard of any person who called so many thousands, so many myriads, of sinners to repentance? Above all, have we read or heard of any who has been a blessed instrument in His hand of bringing so many sinners from "darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God?" It is true, were we to talk thus to the gay world, we should be judged to speak as barbarians. But you understand the language of the country to which you are going, and whither our dear friend is gone a little before us.

III. But how shall we improve this awful providence? This is the third thing which we have to consider. And the answer to this important question is easy (may God write it in all our hearts!). By keeping close to the grand doctrines which he delivered; and by drinking into his spirit.

1. And, first, let us keep close to the grand scriptural doctrines which he everywhere delivered. There are many doctrines of a less essential nature, with regard to which even the sincere children of God (such is the present weakness of human understanding) are and have been divided for many ages. In these we may think and let think; we may "agree to disagree." But, meantime, let us hold fast the essentials of "the faith which was once delivered to the saints;" and which this champion of God so strongly insisted on, at all times, and in all places!

2. His fundamental point was, "Give God all the glory of whatever is good in man;" and, "In the business of salvation, set Christ as high and man as low as possible." With this point, he and his friends at Oxford, the original Methodists, so called, set out. Their grand principle was, there is no power (by nature) and no merit in man. They insisted, all power to think, speak, or act aright, is in and from the Spirit of Christ; and all merit is (not in man, how high soever in grace, but merely) in the blood of Christ. So he and they taught: there is no power in man, till it is given him from above, to do one good work, to speak one good word, or to form one good desire. For it is not enough to say, all men are sick of sin: no, we are all "dead in trespasses and sins." It follows, that all the children of men are, "by nature, children of wrath." We are all "guilty before God," liable to death temporal and eternal.

3. And we are all helpless, both with regard to the power and to the guilt of sin. "For who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" None less than the Almighty. Who can raise those that are dead, spiritually dead in sin? None but He who raised us from the dust of the earth. But on what consideration will He do this? "Not for works of righteousness that we have done." "The dead cannot praise Thee, O Lord;" nor do anything for the sake of which they should be raised to life. Whatever, therefore, God does, He does it merely for the sake of His well-beloved Son: "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities." He Himself "bore" all "our sins in His own body upon the tree." He "was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Here then is the sole meritorious cause of every blessing we do or can enjoy; in particular of our pardon and acceptance with God, of our full and free justification. But by what means do we become interested in what Christ has done and suffered? "Not by works, lest any man should boast;" but by faith alone. "We conclude," says the Apostle, "that a man is justified by faith, without the works of the law." And "to as many as" thus "receive Him, giveth He power to become the sons of God, even to those that believe in His name; who are born, not of the will of man, but of God."

4. And "except a man be" thus "born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." But all who are thus "born of the Spirit" have "the kingdom of God within them." Christ sets up His kingdom in their hearts; "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." That "mind is in them, which was in Christ Jesus," enabling them to "walk as Christ also walked." His indwelling Spirit makes them both holy in heart, and "holy in all manner of conversation." But still, seeing all this is a free gift, through the righteousness and blood of Christ, there is eternally the same reason to remember, "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

5. You are not ignorant that these are the fundamental doctrines which he everywhere insisted on. And may they not be summed up, as it were, in two words, -- the new birth, and justification by faith? These let us insist upon with all boldness, at all times, and in all places; -- in public (those of us who are called thereto), and at all opportunities in private. Keep close to these good, old, unfashionable doctrines, how many soever contradict and blaspheme. Go on, my brethren, in the "name of the Lord, and in the power of His might." With all care and diligence, "keep that safe which is committed to your trust;" knowing that "heaven and earth shall pass away, but this truth shall not pass away."

6. But will it be sufficient to keep close to his doctrines, how pure soever they are? Is there not a point of still greater importance than this, namely, to drink into his spirit? -- herein to be a follower of him, even as he was of Christ? Without this, the purity of our doctrines would only increase our condemnation. This, therefore, is the principal thing -- to copy after his spirit. And allowing that in some points we must be content to admire what we cannot imitate; yet in many others we may, through the same free grace, be partakers of the same blessing. Conscious then of your own wants and of His bounteous love, who "giveth liberally and upbraids not," cry to Him that works all in all for a measure of the same precious faith; of the same zeal and activity; the same tender-heartedness, charitableness, bowels of mercies. Wrestle with God for some degree of the same grateful, friendly, affectionate temper; of the same openness, simplicity, and godly sincerity; "love without dissimulation." Wrestle on, till the power from on high works in you the same steady courage and patience; and above all, because it is the crown of all, the same invariable integrity!

7. Is there any other fruit of the grace of God with which he was eminently endowed, and the want of which among the children of God he frequently and passionately lamented? There is one, that is, catholic love; that sincere and tender affection which is due to all those who, we have reason to believe, are children of God by faith; in other words, all those, in every persuasion, who "fear God and work righteousness." He longed to see all who had "tasted of the good word," of a true catholic spirit; a word little understood, and still less experienced, by many who have it frequently in their mouth. Who is he that answers this character? Who is the man of a catholic spirit? One who loves as friends, as brethren in the Lord, as joint partakers of the present kingdom of heaven, and fellow heirs of His eternal kingdom, all, of whatever opinion, mode of worship, or congregation, who believe in the Lord Jesus; who love God and man; who, rejoicing to please and fearing to offend God, are careful to abstain from evil, and zealous of good works. He is a man of a truly catholic spirit, who bears all these continually upon his heart; who, having an unspeakable tenderness for their persons, and an earnest desire of their welfare, does not cease to commend them to God in prayer, as well as to plead their cause before men; who speaks comfortably to them, and labors, by all his words, to strengthen their hands in God. He assists them to the uttermost of his power, in all things, spiritual and temporal; he is ready to "spend and be spent" for them; yea, "to lay down his life for his brethren."

8. How amiable a character is this! How desirable to every child of God! But why is it then so rarely found? How is it that there are so few instances of it? Indeed, supposing we have tasted of the love of God, how can any of us rest till it is our own? Why, there is a delicate device, whereby Satan persuades thousands that they may stop short of it and yet be guiltless. It is well if many here present are not in this "snare of the devil, taken captive at his will." "O yes," says one, "I have all this love for those I believe to be children of God; but I will never believe he is a child of God, who belongs to that vile congregation! Can he, do you think, be a child of God, who holds such detestable opinions? or he that joins in such senseless and superstitious, if not idolatrous, worship?" So we may justify ourselves in one sin by adding a second to it! We excuse the want of love in ourselves by laying the blame on others! To color our own devilish temper, we pronounce our brethren children of the devil! O beware of this! -- and if you are already taken in the snare, escape out of it as soon as possible! Go and learn that truly catholic love which "is not rash," or hasty in judging; that love which "thinks no evil;" which "believes and hopes all things;" which makes all the allowances for others that we desire others should make for us! Then we shall take knowledge of the grace of God which is in every man, whatever be his opinion or mode of worship: then will all that fear God be near and dear unto us "in the bowels of Jesus Christ."

9. Was not this the spirit of our dear friend? And why should it not be ours? O Thou God of love, how long shall Thy people be a by-word among the Heathen? How long shall they laugh us to scorn, and say, "See how these Christians love one another!" When wilt Thou roll away our reproach? Shall the sword devour for ever? How long will it be ere Thou bid Thy people return from "following each other?" Now, at least, "let all the people stand still, and pursue after their brethren no more!" But what ever others do, let all of us, my brethren, hear the voice of him that, being dead, yet speaks! Suppose ye hear him say, "Now, at least, be ye followers of me as I was of Christ! Let brother "no more lift up sword against brother, neither know ye war any more!" Rather put ye on, as the elect of God, bowels of mercies, humbleness of mild, brotherly kindness, gentleness, long- suffering, forbearing one another in love. Let the time past suffice for strife, envy, contention; for biting and devouring one another. Blessed be God, that ye have not long ago been consumed one of another! From henceforth hold ye the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

10. O God, with Thee no word is impossible! Thou does whatsoever please Thee! O that Thou would cause the mantle of Thy prophet, whom Thou hast taken up, now to fall upon us that remain! "Where is the Lord God of Elijah?" Let his spirit rest upon these Thy servants! Show Thou art the God that answers by fire! Let the fire of Thy love fall on every heart! And because we love Thee, let us love one another with a "love stronger than death!" Take away from us "all anger, and wrath, and bitterness; all clamor and evil speaking!" Let Thy Spirit so rest upon us, that from this hour we may be "kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake hath forgiven us!"

 2012/5/24 5:45Profile
hmmhmm
Member



Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re:

I will lock this thread, it has much unchristlikness and some direct violations of Jesus Christs commands in the NT. May we watch our tongues and judgments we speak.

This words should be an encuragment to all and a desire deeply rooted in our hearts and if not i am fearful for that man or woman.

"John Wesley and George Whitefield could have easily avoided each other and went their separate ways over their theological differences but instead they chose to love each other in the Lord even while disagreeing."


_________________
CHRISTIAN

 2012/5/24 12:10Profile





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