These are notes (with amendments) of a sermon preached on Sunday 1 October 2017. They have not been proofread. This is the last part of a short series of sermons on the Bible compared to a plough. The subject of this sermon is the significance of the twofold message of the Bible—the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace.

In his farewell speech to the bishops at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul divided his counsel under two headings: First, a review of his labours and ministry (Acts 20:17-27); Second, a charge to the bishops at Ephesus (Acts 20:28-35). Looking only at the review of his labours and ministry (Acts 20:17-27), Paul reminded the bishops of his past labours at Ephesus—“Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.” (Acts 20:17-19) He also informs them of his future labours at Jerusalem—“And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the…

Continue reading

These are notes of a sermon preached on Sunday 22 October 2017. They have not been proofread. The subject is the personal precepts of the Gospel Law.

As I mentioned in the previous study, there are several ways the precepts of the Gospel Law could be catalogued. I have chosen to select the threefold category of Gospel precepts given by James in the first chapter of his epistle, the twenty-seventh verse:

James 1:27: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

This text arranges the Gospel precepts under the following categories:

1. The God-ward Precepts of the Gospel Law—“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father…”

2. The Relational Precepts of the Gospel Law—“To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction…”

3. The Personal Precepts of the Gospel Law—“To keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Now, rather than beginning with the God-ward precepts or the relational precepts, I feel it is in our best interest to begin with the personal precepts. I say this, because if the believer has no rule over his own soul, then he is like a city that is broken down, and without walls (Prov 25:28). Indeed, if he lacks the personal discipline of keeping his own heart with all diligence (Prov 4:23), then how will he hope to be faithful in those precepts that relate to God and others?

Continue reading


1 Jun 2015, by Jared Smith

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 0.33.10

John Gill was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, England, on November 23rd, 1697. At age 12, he was converted to Christ under the preaching ministry of William Wallis. However, he waited six years before agreeing to be baptized, after which he became a member of his local church. At the age of 23, he was inducted as pastor of the Strict Baptist Horselydown church, where he remained until his death on October 14th, 1771. His 50 year pastoral ministry was accompanied by a prolific written ministry. Not only is he the only man to…

Continue reading

As it is difficult to understand that nature which belongs to each of God’s creatures, so there is a mystery about the nature of God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

1. Indirect Inferences that there is a Nature in God.

That a “Nature” may be predicated of God is inferred by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 4:8, where these Christians are described, prior to their conversion, as serving idols, who “by nature, were no gods”—as these false gods were assumed to have a nature, so the one true and living God must have a Nature. A similar inference is made by the Apostle Peter in…

Continue reading

That there is but one God is the first principle of the Christian faith. It is the chief commandment given by God, on which all religion, doctrine and faith depend (Mk 12:28-30). He that says there is more than one God is as much a fool as he that believes there is no God. Indeed, Tertullian observed, “If God is not one, He is not at all.” This premise is a most certain truth, and most surely to be believed, as it is affirmed by the voice of reason and revelation.

1. The Light of Nature.

As the light of nature teaches men there is a God, so it also teaches them there is but one God. This is observable even among those nations which neglected the true God and chose not to retain Him in their knowledge—having been given over to a reprobate mind, or to judicial blindness, to believe the father of lies—they were led by degrees…

Continue reading

Having proved the unity of the divine Being, and explained the sense in which it is to be understood, it is proper to enlarge on the subject of the plurality in the Godhead. The scriptures reveal the true and living God exists in three Persons in the unity of the one indivisible essence. Now, there are some who refuse to identify the Godhead by terms such as Essence, Unity, Trinity and Person. It is argued that since the Bible does not refer to God by these terms, so it is illegitimate language if used when identifying the nature of the Godhead. However, as the purpose of words is designed to accurately convey ideas, so these aforementioned terms exist to identify those concepts of the Godhead revealed in the scriptures. From this standpoint, it is perfectly acceptable to use extra-biblical terms to identify and explain biblical truth.

I shall treat of this subject under two heads: First, I shall prove that there is a plurality of Persons in the one Godhead; Second, I will identify the Three Persons in the one Godhead.

Continue reading

Having considered the distinct personality and deity of the Father, attention is now given to that of the Son.

I. The Personality of the Son.

1. Affirmed by Formal Definition.

Personality has been defined by some as, “An individual that subsists, is living, intelligent, is not sustained by another, nor is a part of another.” If this statement be accepted as a formal definition of a person, then it is true of each of the three Persons in the Godhead—Father, Son and Spirit. Of particular note, we shall consider the personality of the Son: (1) “An individual…”—He is an individual, distinct, though not separate from…

Continue reading

Omnipotence is the very nature of God Himself—it is essential to the Godhead. A weak Deity is an absurdity to the human mind. The power of God reaches to all things, and therefore is, with propriety, called Omnipotence. It is said by an angel, and confirmed by Christ, that all things are possible with God, and nothing impossible (Lk 1:37; Mk 14:36). Indeed, what is impossible with men is possible with God. What cannot be done according to the nature of things (the laws, and course of nature) may be done by the God of nature, who is above these, and not bound by them. In fact, sometimes the power of God is manifested when He chooses to act contrary to the laws of nature—as in the times of Joshua when He stopped the sun in its course, or made iron to swim by the hands of the prophet Elisha, or suffered not fire to burn in the furnace of Nebuchadnezzar so that the three persons cast into it were not hurt by it (not even their clothes so much as singed, nor the smell of fire upon them). These mighty acts of God most definitely demonstrate His Omnipotence, for it is the nature of the sun to go on in its course without stopping (and no creature can stop it); and it is the nature of ponderous bodies such as iron to sink in water; and it is the nature of fire to burn.

Need it be said that Omnipotence belongs to God and no other? Not only is it peculiar to God, but it cannot be properly communicable to a creature, for then that creature would be God. This is true even of the human nature of Christ—for though…

Continue reading

We have been considering the attributes which belong to God as a spirit—because He is uncreated, so He is spiritual, simple, immutable, infinite, immense, omnipresent and eternal; because He is active, so He is living and omnipotent; because He is rational, so He is omniscient and wise. We now proceed to look at that perfection which affirms that God is a volitional spirit—His will, and the sovereignty of it.

I. The Proof of God’s Will.

In an intelligent being, such as angels and men, there is a will, as well as an understanding, and therefore proof that God has a will serves to affirm He is a spirit. As the understanding of God is infinite and unsearchable, so He has a will, to do what He knows is most fitting to be done. His understanding influences and guides His will, and His will determines all His actions. And, because His will is wisely directed, it is called, “the counsel of His will” (Eph 1:11). A will is frequently ascribed to God in Scripture—”The will of the Lord be done” (Acts 21:14); “Who has resisted his will” (Rom 9:19); “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will” (Eph 1:9); and in many other passages. Will is ascribed to each of the divine Persons…

Continue reading

The Triune God.

The glorious, yet incomprehensible mystery of the Trinity is to be seen in every Book of Scripture. The earliest writers, after the Apostolic age, when they propose to give a summary of the faith, proceed no farther than the doctrine of the Trinity. Athanasius, for instance, says: “The whole sum and body of our faith is comprised in the words “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,”—not mere characters and offices or mere names and titles, but expressive of…

Continue reading

Copyright © 2011, The Association of Historic Baptists