John Newton

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His Blood Is Bibline

Posted by on 23 Aug 2011 | Tagged as: Bible, Charles Spurgeon, John Newton

A Life That Is Bible Saturated

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,that ethe man of God2 may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Tim. 3:16-17 ESV

The Bible is the Word of God by its immeasurable majesty, moral purity, essential unity, and time-tested faithfulness. The Bible is unique in its power to convince and convert our hearts, comfort and build-up our spirits, and divide and measure our motives. The Bible is encouragement in trial, insight into the tribulations of life, and guidance in the midst of confusion. The Bible is the only book whose author can personally and directly apply its truths to our daily lives. The Bible is to be believed, obeyed, trusted, digested, and honored. When we read the Bible, the Spirit leads us to repent that we may be made holy; hear God’s voice that we may be drawn nearer to Christ, renounce the world that we may be transformed into the image of Christ, revived as the people of God that we may be a light unto the world, and prepared for the Second Coming of Christ that we may be ready to see Christ face-to-face.

Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord—not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetical expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord.

I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like the reading the Bible itself. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress—that sweetest of all prose poems — without continually making us feel and say, “Why, this man is a living Bible!” Prick him anywhere—his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God. I commend his example to you, beloved.

”Mr. Spurgeon as a Literary Man,” in The Autobiography of Charles H. Spurgeon, Compiled from His Letters, Diaries, and Records by His Wife and Private Secretary, vol. 4, 1878-1892 (Curtis & Jennings, 1900), p. 268.

What Is Christian Ministry? (Part One)

Posted by on 06 Aug 2011 | Tagged as: Christian Ministry, John Newton

 

Ministry is a Relationship with a Person

As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2 Tim. 4:5

True Christian ministry is the overflow of the Life of God in us. Ministry is not a position, but a relationship with a person, Jesus Christ. We spend time with Christ, Christ reveals himself afresh to us. The overflow of that experience is life, that life encourages and blesses others.

Ministry is communicating “life information” to others: why he loves, what God does, when he speaks, where he works, and how he transforms. Ministry is sharing with others how God has been faithful in our lives and how God will be faithful in theirs. Ministry is encouraging others to trust Christ’s work on the Cross, the Father’s faithful provision, and the Holy Spirit’s consistent guidance.

The message I would bear is Jesus Christ and him crucified and from the consideration of the great things he has done, to recommend and enforce Gospel holiness and Gospel love, and to take as little notice of our fierce contests, controversies and divisions as possible. My desire is to lift up the banner of the Lord, and to draw the sword of the Spirit not against names, parties and opinions, but against the world, the flesh and the devil; and to invite poor perishing sinners not to espouse a system of my own or any man’s, but to fly to the Lord Jesus, the sure and only city of refuge and the ready, compassionate and all sufficient Saviour of those that trust in him.

John Newton, Letter to Harry Crooke of Hunslett, Leeds, cited in Marylynn Rouse, “An Important Turn to My Future Life,” The John Newton Project Prayer Letter (October/November 2008), 1.

Ministry Like No Other (Part One)

Posted by on 08 Mar 2010 | Tagged as: John Newton, Pastoral Ministry

 

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Tim. 4:2

Ministry is the overflow of the Life of God in you. You spend time with Christ, Christ reveals himself afresh. The overflow of that experience is life, that life encourages and blesses others. Ministry is communicating “life information” to others: why he loves, what God does, when he speaks, where he works, and how he transforms. Ministry is sharing with others how God has been faithful in your life and how God will be faithful in theirs. Ministry is encouraging others to trust Christ’s work on the Cross, the Father’s faithful provision, and the Holy Spirit’s consistent guidance.

The message I would bear is Jesus Christ and him crucified and from the consideration of the great things he has done, to recommend and enforce Gospel holiness and Gospel love, and to take as little notice of our fierce contests, controversies and divisions as possible.

My desire is to lift up the banner of the Lord, and to draw the sword of the Spirit not against names, parties and opinions, but against the world, the flesh and the devil; and to invite poor perishing sinners not to espouse a system of my own or any man’s, but to fly to the Lord Jesus, the sure and only city of refuge and the ready, compassionate and all sufficient Saviour of those that trust in him.

John Newton, “Letter to Harry Crooke of Hunslett, Leeds,” cited in Marylynn Rouse, “An Important Turn to My Future Life,” The John Newton Project Prayer Letter (October/November 2008), 1.

“Our Sins Are Many–But His Mercies Are More”

Posted by on 18 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: Brokenness, Discouragement, Faith, God's Grace, John Newton, The Cross

Christ is Greater Than Our Discouragement

I hope what you find in yourself by daily experience, will humble you—but not discourage you.

For if our Physician is almighty—our disease cannot be desperate. Our sins are many—but His mercies are more. Our sins are great—but His righteousness is greater. When our sins prevail, remember that we have an Advocate with the Father, who is able to pity, to pardon, and to save to the uttermost!

It is better to be admiring the compassion and fullness of grace which is in our Savior—than to dwell and pore too much upon our own poverty and vileness.

John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth: 2007)

HT: Of First Importance