John Newton | I Believe

 

April 3, 1759 – In a correspondence to a new friend of his, John Newton took time to explain his Christian beliefs. It stirred my heart to “hear” his pen proclaim the wonderful truths that saints down through the ages have held dear. Hopefully, you’ll find encouragement here too.

“I believe that sin is the most hateful thing in the world. I believe that I and all men are by nature in a state of wrath and depravity, utterly unable to sustain the penalty or to fulfill the commands of God’s holy law; and that we have no sufficiency of ourselves to think a good thought.

I believe that Jesus Christ is the chief among ten thousand; that He came into the world to save the chief of sinners, by making a propitiation for sin by His death, by paying a perfect obedience to the law in our behalf; and that He is now exalted on high, to give repentance and remission of sins to all who believe; and that He ever lives to make intercession for us.

I believe that the Holy Spirit (the gift of God through Jesus Christ), is the sure and only guide into all truth, and the common privilege of all believers; and under his influence,

I believe the Holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, and to furnish us thoroughly for every good work.

I believe that love to God, and to man for God’s sake, is the essence of true religion, and the fulfilling of the law; that without holiness no man shall see the Lord; that those who, by a patient course in well-doing, seek glory, honor, and immortality, shall receive eternal life. And I believe that this reward is not of debt–but of grace, even to the praise and glory of that grace whereby He has made us accepted in the Beloved. Amen.”

You can read all of the letter when you click here.

John Piper highlighted the life of John Newton at his 2001 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors. You can listen to and/or read his presentation here.


Let us praise, and join the chorus

Of the saints enthroned on high;

Here they trusted Him before us,

Now their praises fill the sky:

“Thou hast washed us with Your blood;

Thou art worthy, Lamb of God!”

~John Newton, 1774

Pursuing Christ

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Scottish pastor Samuel Rutherford penned this letter while in exile in 1637. It was written to Lady Cardoness. Perhaps the Lord has preserved it down through the centuries so that believers would read it and become a bit jealous of Rutherford’s nearness to Christ. That’s the impact the letter had on me.

“Walk in the Truth, and follow the despised but most lovely Son of God.

I cannot but recommend Him to you as your Husband, your Well-beloved, your Portion, your Comfort and your Joy.

I say this of the Lovely One, because considering what He has done for me, I can say nothing else. He has watered with His sweet comforts an oppressed prisoners. He was always kind to my soul; but never so kind as now in my great extremities.

I dine and sup with Christ.”

You can read the entire letter here.

Beginning, Center, and End

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Octavius Winslow was a 19th century pastor and writer in America.

I’m thankful for the simplicity of what he wrote. He places these wonderful truths down where I can easily reach them.

“We cannot keep our eye too exclusively or too intently fixed on Jesus.

All salvation is in Him. All salvation proceeds from Him. All salvation leads to Him.

And for the assurance and comfort of our salvation we are to repose believingly and entirely on Him.

Christ must be all!

Christ the beginning; Christ the center; and Christ the end.

Oh sweet truth to you who are sensible of your poverty, vileness, and insufficiency, and of the ten thousand flaws and failures of which, perhaps, no one is cognizant but God and your own soul!

Oh, to turn and rest in Christ; a loving Christ; a tender Christ, whose heart’s love never chills, from whose eye darts no reproof, from whose lips breathes no sentence of condemnation!

Christ must be all!”

You can read more about Pastor Winslow here. More of his writings can be found at Grace Gems.


“Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:11 (ESV)

A George Whitefield Christmas

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“When we consider the condescension and love of the Lord Jesus Christ, in submitting to be born of a virgin, a poor sinful creature; and especially as He knew how He was to be treated in this world; that He was to be despised, scoffed at, and at last to die a painful, shameful, and ignominious death; that He should be treated as though He was the off-scouring of all mankind; used, not like the son of man, and, therefore, not at all like the Son of God; the consideration of these things should make us to admire the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was so willing to offer Himself as a ransom for the sins of the people, that when the fullness of time was come, Christ came, made of a woman, made under the law: He came according to the eternal counsel of the Father; He came, not in glory or in splendor, not like Him who brought all salvation with Him: no, He was born in a stable, and laid in a manger; oxen were His companions.

O amazing condescension of the Lord Jesus Christ, to stoop to such low and poor things for our sake.”

~George Whitefield, 1714-1770

Christmas by Spurgeon

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“Hark, yonder! What means the firing of the Tower guns? Why all this ringing of bells in the church steeples, as if all London were mad with joy? There is a prince born; therefore there is this salute, and therefore are the bells ringing.

Ah, Christians, ring the bells of your hearts, tire the salute of your most joyous songs, ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given.’

Dance, O my heart, and ring out peals of gladness!

Ye drops of blood within my veins dance every one of you!

Oh! all my nerves become harp strings, and let gratitude touch you with angelic fingers! And thou, my tongue, shout—shout to his praise who hath said to thee—”Unto thee a child is born, unto thee a Son is given.”

Wipe that tear away! Come, stop that sighing! Hush yon murmuring. What matters your poverty? “Unto you a child is born.” What matters your sickness? ‘Unto you a Son is given.’

What matters your sin? For this child shall take the sin away, and this Son shall wash and make you fit for heaven.

I say, if it be so,

‘Lift up the heart, lift up the voice,

Rejoice aloud! ye saints rejoice!’”

~Charles Haddon Spurgeon, 1834-1892

Read the full sermon here.

His Incomparable Greatness

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I’ve found this prayer from King David a helpful reminder of who I come before in my quiet time and who I live before each hour of the day. 

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours.

Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.”

1 Chronicles 29:11-13