Monday, January 31, 2011

The benefits of salvation assurance for the Christian (series)

by J.C. Ryle, Bishop of Liverpool

Many (Christians) miss the full tide of blessedness the Gospel is meant to convey. Many keep themselves in a low and starved condition of soul, while their Lord is saying “Eat and drink abundantly, O beloved.” “Ask and receive, that your joy may be full (Cant. V. 1, John 16:24)
Let us remember then, for one thing, that assurance (of eternal life with Jesus) is to be desired, because of the present comfort and peace it affords.

Doubts and fears have power to spoil much of the happiness of a true believer in Christ. Uncertainty and suspense are bad enough in any condition—in the matter of our health, our property, our families, our affections, our earthly callings—but never so bad as in the affairs of our souls. And so long as a believer cannot get beyond “I hope” he manifestly feels a degree of uncertainty about his spiritual state. The very word implies as much. He says “I hope” because he dares not say, “I know.”

Now assurance goes far to set a child of God free from this painful kind of bondage, and thus ministers mightily to his comfort. It enables him to feel that the great business of life is a settled business, the great debt a paid debt, the great disease a healed disease. And the great work a finished work; and all other business, diseases, debts, and works, are then by comparison small. In this way, assurance makes him patient in tribulation, calm under bereavements, unmoved in sorrow, not afraid of evil tidings, in every condition content, for it gives him a fixedness of heart. It sweetens his bitter cups; it lessens the burden of his crosses; it smooths the rough places over which he travels; it lightens the valley of the shadow of death. It makes him always fee that he has something solid beneath his feet, and something firm under his hands—a sure friend by the way, and a sure home at the end.

Assurance will help a man to bear poverty and loss. It will teach him to say, “I know that I have in heaven a better and more enduring substance. Silver and gold have I none, but grace and glory are mine, and these can never make themselves wings and fly away. Though the fig tree shall not blossom, y et I will rejoice in the Lord.” (Habbak. 3:17,18.)

Assurance will support a child of God under the heaviest bereavements, and assist him to feel “It is well.” An assured soul will say, “Though beloved ones are taken from me, yet Jesus is the same, and is alive forevermore. Christ, being raised from the dead, dieth no more. Though my house be not as flesh and blood could wish, yet I have an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.” (2 Kings 4:26; Heb. 13:8; Rom 6:9. 2 Sam. 23:5.)
(May you be blest by reading the above—more to come. Bro Jim)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Comparing apples to apples: Roman Church and the Church of England

One of the books that young Augustus Toplady wrote showed how plainly the Church of England’s doctrine very much rejected the original Arminianism (mixing human works with Christ’s death for salvation) that had its roots in the Roman Catholic Church.

The book was titled “The Church of England Vindicated from the Charge of Arminianism.” At one point in the book, Toplady compares some of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Faith from the Anglican Church with the declarations made by the pope and bishops in the Church of Rome during the Council of Trent.The result is very telling and the true Catholic or universal church clearly emerges from the comparison.

1. Church of England - The Godly consideration of predestination and our election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons (Article 18 – XVIII)

Church of Rome  - No man, so long as he liveth in this mortal life, ought so far to presume concerning the hidden mystery of divine predestination as positively to conclude that he is actually in the number of the predestinate. (Session VI, Council of Trent)

2. Church of England – The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God. (Article 10 - X)

Church of Rome – If any person shall say that since the fall of Adam man’s freewill is lost and extinct…Let him be accursed (Sess. V. Canon V, Council of Trent)

3. Church of England - We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and not for our own works or deservings. (Article 11 - XI)

Church of Rome – If any person shall say that men are justified, either by the alone righteousness of Christ, or for a bare forgiveness of sins. Let him be accursed (Trent Sess. V, Canon XI)

4. Church of England – That we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort. (Article 11 - XI)

Church of Rome – If any man shall say that the ungodly is justified by faith only, so as to mean that nothing else is required. Let him be accursed. (Trent Sess. V, Canon IX)

5. Church of England – Works done before the grace of Christ and the inspiration of His Spirit are not pleasant to God. Yes, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin. (Article 13 – XIII)

Church of Rome – If any one shall say that all the works done before justification, in what way soever they are done, are actually sins, and deserving of God’s displeasure. Let him be accursed. (Sess. V, Canon VII)

6. Church of England – Good works which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification…(Article 12 - XII)

Church of Rome – If any one shall say that justification received is not preserved, and even increased before God by good works, but that these good works themselves are no more than the fruits and evidences of justification already obtained. Let him be accursed.

For more go to

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Introducing Agustus Toplady

Augustus Toplady died at the young age of 38--but not before proving conclusively that Calvinism was the backbone of the Anglican Church and that John Wesley was a sadly mistaken minister of the false gospel of Arminiansm, which is in full bloom in the Roman Catholic Church. More on Toplady to come.