The Christian Life

  • Perfectionism, by Charles Hodge
  • "It may be safely assumed that no man living has ever seen a fellow-man whom, even in the imperfect light in which a man reveals himself to his fellows, he deems perfect. And no sound-minded man can regard himself as perfect, unless he lowers the standard of judgment to suit his case. And here lies one of the special dangers of the whole system. If the law of God can be relaxed in its demands to suit the state of its subjects, then there is no limit to be assigned to its condescension. Thus perfectionism has sometimes, although not among the Methodists, lapsed into antinomianism."

     

  • Prayer as a Means of Grace, by B. B. Warfield
  • "But when we really pray-we are actually in enjoyment of communion with God. And is not communion with God salvation? The thing for us to do is to pray without ceasing; once having come into the presence of God, never to leave it; to abide in His presence and to live, steadily, unbrokenly, continuously, in the midst of whatever distractions or trials, with and in Him. God grant such a life to every one of us!"

     

  • Christian Judgment and Liberty, by Charles Hodge
  • "It is a common saying that every man has a pope in his own bosom. That is, the disposition to lord it over God's heritage is almost universal. Men wish to have their opinions on moral questions made into laws to bind the consciences of their brethren. This is just as much a usurpation of a divine prerogative when done by a private Christian or by a church court, as when done by the Bishop of Rome. We are as much bound to resist it in the one case as in the other."

     

  • The Law and the Gospel, by L. Berkhof
  • "The Churches of the Reformation from the very beginning distinguished between the law and the gospel as the two parts of the Word of God as a means of grace. This distinction was not understood to be identical with that between the Old and the New Testament, but was regarded as a distinction that applies to both Testaments. There is law and gospel in the Old Testament, and there is law and gospel in the New. The law comprises everything in Scripture which is a revelation of God's will in the form of command or prohibition, while the gospel embraces everything, whether it be in the Old Testament or in the New, that pertains to the work of reconciliation and that proclaims the seeking and redeeming love of God in Christ Jesus."

     

  • Union to Christ, by Robert L. Dabney
  • "To one who apprehends the dignity and intimacy of this union aright, there will appear a strong a priori probability that it will be indissoluble. The efficient parties to it are Christ and the Holy Ghost; parties divine, omniscient, immutable. The immediate effect on man's soul is the entrance of supernatural life, and the beginning of the exercises of new and characteristic and spiritual acts. One would hardly expect to find that these Divine and Almighty Agents intended any such child's play, as the production of a temporary faith and grace, in such transactions!"

     

  • Wesleyan Doctrine of Sinless Perfection, by Robert L. Dabney
  • "God commands us, says the Wesleyan, to "be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect," whence its possibility must follow. I reply. True; God cannot require of us a physical impossibility. But our inability to keep God's whole law perfectly is not physical. It began in man's sin. By that sin we lost none of those faculties which, when Adam's will was right, enabled him to keep God's command without sin. Our impotency is an "inability of will." Hence, it ought not to alter the demands of God's justice on His creatures. It is right in God to require perfection of us, and instruct us to seek it, because His own perfect nature can accept no less."

     

    Antinomianism, by James Henley Thornwell, "The friends of these systems will all admit that a man is justified by grace, but when they undertake to explain their meaning, "grace is no more grace." The source of the error in many minds is the unfounded notion that grace is whatever is opposed to merit. They judge of the former by comparing it with the latter, and hence they suppose that they are contending for salvation by grace when they are only denying salvation by merit. According to the conceptions which we usually frame of merit in our intercourse with one another, it is impossible that man can deserve anything at the hands of his Maker. Wrapped in the blessedness and immensity of His own nature, the Eternal Jehovah stands in no need of any services from us, and our constant dependence upon His benevolence and bounty for all the blessings which we enjoy renders our holiest obedience nothing more than a suitable expression of gratitude."

     

  • Our Comfort In Dying: A Sermon, by R. L. Dabney
  • R. L. Dabney is considered one of the best theologians of the last century. In this sermon, Dabney weaves together his theological knowledge with pastoral abilities on a topic few would even preach on today. More amazingly, Dabney preached this sermon on August 25, 1861 in the woods of Virginia, for Stonewall Jackson, his officers, and men.

     

  • Calvin On Prayer
  • "But some one will say, Does he not know without a monitor both what our difficulties are, and what is meet for our interest, so that it seems in some measure superfluous to solicit him by our prayers, as if he were winking, or even sleeping, until aroused by the sound of our voice?"

     

  • Calvin On The Christian Life
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  • Christian Effort, by James Henley Thornwell
  • "The life of the Christian is not a life of inactivity and ease. He becomes the servant of God by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ, and is sent into his Master's vineyard for the purpose of working for his Master's glory."

     

  • The Carnal Christian, by Ernest C. Reisinger
  • "Many who regularly occupy church pews, fill church rolls, and are intellectually acquainted with the facts of the gospel never strike one blow for Christ. They seem to be at peace with his enemies. They have no quarrel with sin and, apart from a few sentimental expressions about Christ, there is no biblical evidence that they have experienced anything of the power of the gospel in their lives. Yet in spite of the evidence against them, they consider themselves to be just what their teachers teach them -- that they are 'Carnal Christians'. And as carnal Christians they believe they will go to heaven, though perhaps not first-class, and with few rewards."

     

  • Holy Living, by Charles Hodge
  • "This is true religion, to approve what God approves, to hate what he hates, and to delight in what delights him"

     

  • Sanctification, by Louis Berkhof
  • Additional Resources

  • Divorce and Remarriage, by John Murray
  • Law and Grace, by John Murray
  • Choosing a Church, by Stephen Pribble
  • Trading Places: The Priesthood of All Believers

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