Saturday, October 25, 2008

Christian's Great Interest - Gospel, Gospel, and more Gospel

I have been greatly remiss in posting on this month's Puritan Reading Challenge selection. Between travel, church, and work obligations it has been a hectic month. This has not kept me from reading, however, and I can sum up the book very easily: Gospel, Gospel, and more Gospel. No wonder The Christian's Great Interest was greatly appreciated by Guthrie's contemporaries, as mentioned in my introductory post.

While I have not systematically gleaned this book for quotes to feature here, there is the following section from last night's reading that well demonstrates the nature of this book. Guthrie devotes 22 pages to objections and difficulties that his readers may have concerning the Gospel, and this is the first objection dealt with:

I.--The sinner's baseness rendering it presumption to come to Christ

Objection. I am so base, worthless, and weak of myself that I think it were high presumption for me to meddle with Christ Jesus, or the salvation purchased at the price of His blood.

Answer. It is true, all the children of Adam are base and wicked before Him, 'who chargeth His angels with folly.' (Job 4: 18.) 'All nations are less than nothing and vanity before him.' (Isa. 40: 17.) There is such a disproportion between God and man, that unless He Himself had devised that covenant, and of His own free will had offered so to transact with men, it had been high treason for men or angels to have imagined that God should have humbled himself, and become a servant, and have taken on Him our nature, and have united it by a personal union to the blessed Godhead; and that He should have subjected Himself to the shameful death of the cross; and all this, that men, who were rebels, should be reconciled unto God, and be made eternally happy, by being in His holy company for ever. But I say, all this was His own device and free choice; yea, moreover, if God had not sovereignly commanded men so to close with Him in and through Christ, no man durst have made use of that device of His--'Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that has no money: come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.' (Isa. 40: 1-3.) 'And this is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His son Jesus Christ.' (1 John 3: 23.) So then, although with Abigail I may say, 'Let me be but a servant, to wash the feet of the servants of my Lord' (1 Sam. 25: 41); yet, since He has in His holy wisdom devised that way, and knows how to be richly glorified in it--'The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know, what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints' (Eph. 1: 18); 'All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, and I am glorified in them' (John 17: 10); and has commanded me, as I shall be answerable at the great day, to close with Him in Christ, I dare not disobey, nor inquire into the reasons of His contrivance and commands, but must comply with the command, as I would not be found to 'frustrate the grace of God' (Gal. 2: 21); and in a manner disappoint the gospel, and falsify the record which God has borne of His Son, 'that there is life enough in Him for men' (1 John 5: 10,11), and so 'make God a liar,' and add that rebellion to all my former transgressions.

(pgs. 146-147 in the Banner of Truth Puritan Paperback edition, this excerpt from the CCEL page.)

No comments: