Calvin’s Institutes

“The Institutes are in and of themselves a theological classic.  No work has had a greater or a more formative influence on Protestant theology.  It is not always realized, however, that in addition to its massive and sublime thought it is written in a style which is most moving, and at times thrilling.  Unlike most modern theology, which claims to derive from it, it is deeply devotional. No book repays reading more than this, and especially so in the case of preachers of the Word.  …The most urgent reason why all should read the Institutes, however, is to be found in the times in which we live. In a world which is shaking in its very foundations and which lacks any ultimate authority, nothing is so calculated to strengthen and to stabilize one’s soul as this magnificent exposition and outworking of the glorious doctrine of the sovereignty of God. It was the ‘iron ration of the soul’ of the Reformation martyrs, of the Pilgrim Fathers, the Covenanters, and many others who have had to face persecution and death for Christ’s sake.”  –D.M. Lloyd-Jones “Knowing the Times” p. 37

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Remedy of the Cross

“…lest in the unmeasured abundance of our riches we go wild; lest, puffed up with honors, we become proud; lest, swollen with other good things–either of the soul or of the body, or of fortune–we grow haughty, the Lord himself, according as he sees it expedient, confronts us and subjects and restrains our unrestrained flesh with the remedy of the cross.  And this he does in various ways in accordance with what is healthful for each man. For not all of us suffer in equal degree from the same diseases or, on that account, need the same harsh cure.  From this it is to be seen that some are tried by one kind of cross, others by another.  But since the heavenly physician treats some more gently but cleanses others by harsher remedies, while he wills to provide for the health of all, yet he leaves no one free and untouched, because he knows that all, to a man, are diseased.”  –John Calvin “Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion” Vol I/ p. 706

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Medicines of the Gospel

“Who pardons all your iniquities:  without forgiveness of sins life would be a burden. Pardon is not a state to which the believer raises himself by a long and holy course, –it is an act of God’s free mercy and grace in Christ Jesus. …Pardon and purity are the medicines of the Gospel. Unless we be made like Christ, we shall never be with Christ.”  –William S. Plumer “Psalms” Ps. 103 p. 918

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Man Is Like Grass

“Man is like grass: we ought not to be startled at anything reminding us of our own frailty and mortality. All scripture and all history teach us that though man flourish as a flower for a moment, still he must soon wither like the grass. Blessed is he who habitually needs not to be reminded that he must die; and yet so far from being dejected thereby betakes himself to the Almighty, and in him finds friend, refuge, husband, Redeemer.” –William S. Plumer “Psalms” Ps. 103 p. 919

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He Knows What We Are Made Of

“For He knows what we are made of, how we are formed, He knows our frame, He is mindful, remembers that we are dust.  This knowledge of God embraces our contitutional temperament, the feebleness of our understanding, the strength of our fears, the shattered state of our nerves, the violence of temptations, our readiness to sink into melancholy, and everything calling for tender compassions.” –William S. Plumer “Psalms” Psalm 103 p. 916

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No Chance

“There is no such thing as chance with reference to God–wherever this term occurs in the Bible it is always in connection with man, referring to something taking place without his [man’s] design.  Everything which occurs in the world is just as God ordained from the beginning, Acts 2:23.  Endeaver to recall tht fact, dear reader, the next time you are in difficulty and distress.  If you are one of God’s people He has provided for every contingency in His ‘Everlasting Covenant’ and His mercies are ‘sure,’ (2 Sam. 23:5; Isa. 55:3)’ ”  –A.W. Pink “The Life of Elijah” p. 48

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And It Came To Pass

“‘And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land,’ I Kings 17:7.  Weigh attentively these five words:  ‘And it came to pass.’  They mean far more than that it merely happened:  they signify that the Divine decree concerning the same was now fulfilled.  ‘It came to pass’ in the good providence of God, who orders all things after the counsel of His own will, and without whose personal permission nothing occurs, not even the falling of a sparrow to the gournd, Matt. 10:29.  How this should comfort the children of God and assure them of their security.”  –A.W. Pink “The Life of Elijah” p. 48

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