« AnteriorContinuar »
presented blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Q^ Is not this then the very end for which God appointed teachers in his church? Eph. A. And he gave some apostles, and
some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
Q^ Seeing this is so much pressed by the holy
men, doth not the scripture, which cannot lie,
give none of the saints this testimony, as being
free from fin at some times, and so not always
and daily finning, as is supposed?
Gen. A. Noah was a just man, and perfect in
6-9- his generations; and Noah walked with
Job God. And the Lord said unto satan, hast
1- - thou considered my servant Job, that there
is none like him in the earth, a perfect and
an upright man, one that feareth God, and
escheweth evil. There was in the days of
Luke 1. Herod, King of Judea, a certain priest,
j, 6. named Zacharias, of the course of Abia;
and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron,
and her name was Elizabeth; and they
were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
Ch That proves sufficiently as to particular persons; but what doth the scripture intimate of this nature, even of considerable numbers?
A. But God, who is rich in mercy, fbrEPh- *. his great love wherewith he hath loved us,4,s' even when we were dead in sin, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Heb.u.
But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and"'*3unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. Rev.14;
And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on 1. 4. 5the Mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his father's name written in their foreheads. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they "which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God, and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are without sault before the throne of God.
Concerning Perseverance, and falling from Grace.
Quest.—IS it enough for a believer to be fare that he hath once received true grace? Or it there any further certainty requisite?
a Pet.i. A. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things ye shall never sall.
(^ May one that hath received true grace, have ground to fear; or suppose he can fall P
l*£*- A. But I keep under my body, and -bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away.
Q^ That greatly contradiileth the doHrine of such as fay, Once in grace, ever in grace: But doth the apostle Paul express this only out of an humble esteem of himself? Or doth he judge or suppose the like of other saints I1
Heii.3. A. Take heed, brethren, lest there be ia
1*» 13- any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day; Jest any of you be hardened
Heb- through the deceitfulness of sin. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man sail after the fame example of
unbelief. unbelief. For it is impossible for those who Hcb ('were once enlightened, and have tasted of4'5' the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come; if they shall sall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Looking diligently, lest any man sail ofHebthe grace of God, lest any root of bitternessIa- 'sspringing up, trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
Q^ Doth he speak this only by supposition, or doth he asj-ert it not only possible, but certain?
A. For the time will come, when they»Tim. will not endure sound doctrine; but after 4-3'4their own lusts fliall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and (hall be turned unto sables.
Q^ Doth the apostle even judge it necessary to guard such an one, as his beloved son Timothy, against this hazard?
A. This charge I commit unto thee, son 1 TTMTimothy, according to the prophecies which J j.1' went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warsare, holding saith and a good conscience; which some having put away, concerning saith have made shipwreck. For the love of money is the t Tim F 2 root 6. 4P
root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the saith, and pierced themselves through with many sor% Tim. rows. And their word will eat as doth a *j,7, canker; of whom is Hymeneus andPhiletus, who concerning the Truth have erred, saying, that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
Q^ Doth the apostle any where express his
fears of this, as a thing that may happen to
any number of people who once truly received
-the faith of Christ?
Rom. A- Well; because of unbelief they were
1i. a0. broken off, and thou standest by saith. Be
i Tim not high-minded, but fear. Now the spirit
* i. - speaketh expressly, that in the latter times
1 Thes. some shall depart from the saith, &c. For
3-5- this cause, when 1 could no longer forbear,
I sent to know your saith, lest by some
means the tempter have tempted you, and
our labour be in vain.
CK What is the apostle Peter's mind? Does he judge, that such as have known the right way, may forsake it? a Pet. s. A- Cursed "children, which have forsaken 141018. the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bofor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, but was rebuked for his iniquity; the dumb ass speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet. These are