Resources on Theology

Receiving Jesus a Thousand Times

By Charlie Wingard · October 23, 2019 · 0 Comments
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Under the distinguishing marks of saving faith, Wilhelmus à Brakel writes: By faith true believers frequently receive the Lord Jesus with their heart. . . . To Him they turn, Him they desire, for Him they long, Him they receive, upon Him they rely, to Him they surrender themselves, to Him they desire to be united – all by faith. . . . They frequently, if not a thousand times, receive the Lord Jesus by faith. They always believe that their reception of Him has not been as unreserved as it ought to have been and that it has not been with sufficient clarity and sincerity; it was not as whole-hearted as it ought to have been. This receiving of…

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Christ-like Benevolence

By Charlie Wingard · October 21, 2019 · 0 Comments
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After participating in the Lord’s Supper, Wilhelmus à Brakel summons God’s people to reflection. With regard to the public manifestation of our Christianity, he encourages us to think deeply about our benevolence, remembering that we bear the image of Christ. How benevolent the Lord Jesus was! Who did ever depart from Him, being yet uncomforted? Thus it must be with you: Comfort those who grieve, visit the sick, and be generous to the poor. If there is nothing you can give, nevertheless be friendly and manifest your compassion toward them. Let your light thus shine among men and manifest your faith by good works. – The Christian’s Reasonable Service (vol. 2):  The Church and Salvation, trans. by Bartel Elshout. 1700…

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Calvin on Wisdom

By Charlie Wingard · August 30, 2018 · 0 Comments
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“This is our wisdom: duly to feel how much our salvation cost the Son of God.” John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill; trans. Ford Lewis Battles; vol. 1 (Louisville, KY: Westminster Press, 1960), 519.

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How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds

By Charlie Wingard · August 26, 2018 · 0 Comments
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How sweet the name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear! It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds, and drives away our fear.* I thought of this hymn yesterday while reading Calvin’s Institutes: The name of Jesus is not only light but also food; it is also oil, without which all food of the soul is dry; it is salt, without whose seasoning whatever is set before us is insipid; finally, it is honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, rejoicing in the heart, and at the same time medicine. Every discourse in which his name is not spoken is without savor.** _______ * John Newton **Bernard of Clairvaux in John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T.…

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Sunday: The Pastor’s Best Day!

By Charlie Wingard · July 14, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Day of all the week the best, Emblem of eternal rest.* Preparing for the Lord’s Day is the obligation of every Christian, and especially gospel ministers. A part of that preparation means cultivating the right attitude toward Sunday. Yes, it is the best day of the week! Francis Grimké has just the attitude we need: Sunday is a great day for the minister; and if he is the right kind of a minister, it will also be a great day for his flock. Sunday is the day particularly on which he is to meet his flock, on which he is to feed them, to lead them into green pastures and beside still waters. It is the day particularly in which he…

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The Doctrine of Providence: A Confession of Faith

By Charlie Wingard · May 11, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Before the end of the year, I hope to have reread Calvin’s Institutes. This morning I completed Book 1, which concludes with Calvin’s teaching on God’s providence. To aid me in my readings, I am using David Calhoun’s fine devotional volume on the Institutes. I found these words especially helpful: The doctrine of  providence for Calvin is not so much a matter of explanation of what happens as it is a confession of faith. It does not answer all our questions, but it enables us to live without answers until the time comes when we will live without questions. Calvin’s understanding of the Bible’s teaching on providence has immensely practical application. “Gratitude of mind for the favorable outcome of things, patience…

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