What Saith the Scripture?


Fellow ship > What Saith The Scripture Topical Links: On Sound Doctrine

Topical Links: On Sound Doctrine

"Holding fast the Faithful Word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by Sound Doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers"
(Titus 1:9).

Sound Doctrine is more crucial to the health of the True Saints and to the identification of the Antichrist than has been emphasized by the shepherds of the Flock... Why the aversion to Sound Doctrine? Since doctrine is the foundation and marching orders for all conduct, then Sound Doctrine must be hated by those who are unwilling to change their conduct... It will not be possible to take the professed people of God captive without their first departing from Sound Doctrine.
--excerpt from "Antichrist Shall Come" ---New Window.

"See that you preach a full gospel. Do not satisfy yourselves, my brethren, with the mere conversion of sinners. Aim at the entire and universal sanctification of saints. Preach a gospel suited to this end. Show what is 'the length, and breadth, and height, and depth of the love of God,' and that he 'is able and willing to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think.' Preach not justification merely, but sanctification, in all its length and breadth.

You ought to understand, brethren, that the doctrine of justification by faith, as it is now generally held by the orthodox churches, is a modern invention, and was unknown to the ancient church. It is this, that men are justified by faith in Christ, while they are not sanctified. In other words, that faith is so substituted for holiness, that they are accounted as righteous, while in fact they are not so, but are living in the daily and hourly practice of sin.

The doctrine of the primitive Church was, that men are made righteous by faith. In other words, that they are sanctified, or made holy, by faith, and that they were justified only so far as they were made just by the grace of God through faith. Now this must be the truth. And take heed to the doctrine, brethren, that you do not convey the idea, that men are justified while living in sin."

--excerpt from "Ordination" by C. G. Finney, "The Oberlin Evangelist" ---New Window, Lectures of 1842.

An Urgent Call to Christian Perfection ---New Window

An Exposition of the Doctrine of Christian Perfection

by Tom Stewart

Call it perfection. Call it sanctification. Call it holiness.
The issue isn't what you call it.What's important is that you do it.

"Christ insists upon our perfection here and now. After all, the only reason why we ought to insist upon any doctrine is because our LORD and Teacher insists upon it. 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect' (Matthew 5:48). I am well aware that our beloved brother Paul plainly warns us as he did Timothy: 'If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our LORD Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself' (1Timothy 6:3-5). I, too, desire to consent to wholesome words and to the doctrine which is according to Godliness. For this reason, I am writing to you to set forth the doctrine of Christian perfection (or, entire sanctification). Simply put, Christian perfection is to appropriate Christ by faith in all of His offices, capacities, and relations to meet our every need in life... 'Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith' (Hebrews 12:20, Who 'shall supply all [our] need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:19), Who is our 'Jehovah Jireh' (Genesis 22:14) (literally, the LORD will provide)."

Must We Then Sin? ---New Window

Or, A Response to the Doctrine of Sin Nature or the Doctrine of Original Sin
Or, A Clarification of What is Sin, Why We Sin, and How Not to Sin

by Tom Stewart

"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His Seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God"

(1John 3:9).

The present, woeful ignorance of the Laodicean Church concerning the LORD Jesus Christ, has begotten a necessity to sin and to entertain all the worst sins of the world, while professing themselves to be "rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing" (Revelation 3:17).

This Doctrine of Sin Nature or Original Sin has become an indispensable article of faith to the modern Church, but it has been, and still is, a refuge and excuse for sin and sinning, an unbearable
"yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1), and an impediment to any attempt to live apart from sin. "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the Holy Commandment delivered unto them" (2Peter 2:21).

"The dogma of constitutional moral depravity, is a part and parcel of the doctrine of a necessitated will. It is a branch of a grossly false and heathenish philosophy. How infinitely absurd, dangerous, and unjust, then, to embody it in a standard of Christian doctrine, to give it the place of an indispensable article of faith, and denounce all who will not swallow its absurdities, as heretics. O, shame!" (from Charles G. Finney's "Lectures on Systematic Theology", Lecture XLI (41) on "Moral Depravity" ---New Window).
May the Merciful God allow you to
"adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things" (Titus 2:10).

The Restraining Influence of the Holy Spirit ---New Window

by Tom Stewart

"Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain"
(Psalm 76:10).

"Even if you feel comfortable with but few charitable organizations-- and of course, do not ever contribute contrary to your conscience or sensibilities-- obvious benefit will be gained by those who will receive donated canned goods, articles of clothing, money, etc., when you obey the Scriptural directive: 'Do good and to communicate [Greek, koinonia, share] forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased' (Hebrews 13:16)."

The Majesty of the Atonement of Jesus Christ ---New Window

Or, Christ's Humanity Provided an Atoning Sacrifice for the Sins of Mankind

by Tom Stewart

"And not only so, but we also joy in God through our LORD Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the Atonement" (Romans 5:11).

"At this moment, only a short time before the
'glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ' (Titus 2:13), it is a retrospective of awe and wonder that we would consider again the central, fundamental, and timeless theme of the atoning self-sacrifice of the Creator for the well-being of rebellious and sinful man... he most majestic act of God towards us was the Atonement of Jesus Christ on the Cross for all mankind. So marvelous was this act of atonement, that the angels were quite eager to see how the LORD would handle it. 'Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven; which things the angels desire to look into' (1Peter 1:12). Eternity cannot exhaust our study of the love of God that was manifested in His atonement for us."


His Resurrection Is The Highest Proof That Jesus Is The Messiah ---New Window

by Tom Stewart

"What evidence should satisfy the most inquisitive mind that Jesus is the Messiah? All of humanity must be born into this world, and it will be by the hand of the Almighty that He will take us out of this world, i.e., 'And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this The Judgment' (Hebrews 9:27), so birth and death are common to man. However, who but God Alone has the Power to resurrect from the dead? 'God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that Power belongeth unto God' (Psalm 62:11). Even if a questioning mind could not settle whether Jesus resurrected by His own Power or whether it was the Power of the Almighty to resurrect Jesus from the dead, Why would Jehovah resurrect Jesus and thereby vindicate the claims of Jesus of Nazareth that He would Rise again after three days, unless Jesus is the Messiah? '3 Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our LORD, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 and declared to be the Son of God with Power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the Resurrection from the dead' (Romans 1:3-4)."

That Ye May Know That Ye Have Eternal Life ---New Window

Or, The Biblical Doctrine of the Assurance of Salvation
Or, Only Those Who Abide in Christ May Know That They Have Eternal Life

by Tom Stewart

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have Eternal Life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God"

(1John 5:13).

Perhaps the plainest statement of Scripture that any may use to determine their possession of Eternal Life, is the Apostle John's letter to his Little Children. "3 And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments. 4 He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (1John 2:3-4). Present obedience means you truly possess Eternal Life, while present disobedience means you are a liar. "And all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the Second Death" (Revelation 21:8).

He That Endureth to the End Shall Be Saved ---New Window

Or, The Biblical Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints
Or, Endurance is Necessary for Eternal Salvation

by Tom Stewart

"And ye shall be hated of all men for My Name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved"
(Matthew 10:22).

In our enthusiasm to promote God's Simple Plan of Salvation, we have made anathema any suggestion that the Scripture demands anything beyond the simple requirement to believe... The desire to protect Gospel Salvation from the Judaizers, who wrongly made the keeping of the Ceremonial Law of the Old Testament necessary for Salvation, has caused the Gospel requirement of persevering in faith, continuing in Christ, holding fast our confidence in Christ, or enduring to the end, to be laid aside from the claims of the Primitive Gospel.
"We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end" (Hebrews 3:14)...

You may ask, "Don't you believe in the Eternal Security of the Believer?" Most certainly, I do.
"And I give unto them Eternal Life; and they shall never perish" (John 10:28). But, we are nowhere to confuse the Security of the Believer with the Insecurity that Rightfully Belongs to ANY Sinner. "Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him" (1John 3:6). The self-deception of sin persuades the one who professes to know Jesus Christ that they have already been saved, even though they presently continue in unrepented sin. "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God" (1John 3:10)...

Persevering to the end is part of Saving Faith
; and therefore, it is a condition of Eternal Salvation. Holding fast our faith (or,
"confidence") is the same as enduring. "But Christ as a Son over His own house; Whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end" (Hebrews 3:6)...

The faith that believes that it is not necessary to endure to the end as a condition of Eternal Salvation prepares the Church for the Apostasy or Falling Away of the End Times... A cardinal tenet of faith is:
"According to your faith be it unto you" (Matthew 9:29). And, if we allow and prepare ourselves to fall away from the faith-- ever so briefly-- we will fall away! "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7)... Not only is it necessary for the Saints to endure or persevere to the end; but at the same time, both the Father and the Son have promised to preserve those who "continue in the faith". " man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand" (John 10:29). This relationship where the Saints Endure While God Preserves was best expressed by the LORD Jesus: "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17)...

Love is the motivation to endure to the end, but faith is the means to carry it out.
"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by Love" (Galatians 5:6). Faith or confidence in the character of God is the only thing we can do to please God. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him..." (Hebrews 11:6). How can we ever mature without an ever increasing confidence in the character of God? And, how can we increase in confidence, if we do not persevere? "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established" (Isaiah 7:9). Considering what the LORD Jesus did for us on the Cross, how can we justify sinning against Him? "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight..." (Psalm 51:4). Further, if we cannot bear to offend the Lamb of God, would it not be unreasonable for the LORD to preserve us in holiness?

The Significance of Charles G. Finney's Disinterested Benevolence ---New Window

Or, God Loves All, But Only the Lovingly Obedient Go to Heaven

by Tom Stewart

"Love is the fulfilling of the Law"
(Romans 13:10).

"The great opportunity of properly understanding the love of God, which Charles Grandison Finney faithfully expounded to the Church with the terms 'disinterested benevolence' and the 'love of complacency', is that individual Christians may enter into the covenant blessings of the New Testament by knowledgeably embracing the Spirit of God, Who will work 'in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure' (Philippians 2:13). 'That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the Promise of the Spirit through faith' (Galatians 3:14). Instead of waiting for the Hereafter to see the Promises of God fulfilled, we can and ought to embrace them now. 'As for Me, this is My Covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee, and My Words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever' (Isaiah 59:21). We ought to resist the impulse of misdirected teachings that make the giving of the Holy Spirit only a past event to an Institutional Church, but that the very purpose of the gift of the Holy Spirit, is that the God of love will 'abide with [us] for ever' (John 14:16).

Unity of Moral Action ---New Window


by Charles G. Finney

"Obedience cannot be partial in the sense that the subject ever does, or can, partly obey and partly disobey at the same time. That is, consecration, to be real, must be, for the time being, entire and universal... Can the will at the same time choose opposite and conflicting ultimate ends? While one ultimate end is chosen, can the will choose anything inconsistent with this end?... Sin is the supreme preference of self-gratification. Holiness is the supreme preference of the good of being. Can then two supreme preferences coexist in the same mind? It is plainly impossible to make opposite choices at the same time, that is, to choose opposite and conflicting ultimate ends."

Is Faith the Only Condition for Eternal Salvation? ---New Window

Or, The Biblical Doctrine of Justification by Faith

by Tom Stewart

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath Everlasting Life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from Death unto Life"
(John 5:24).

Faith is anything but passive, for "by faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the Promises offered up his only begotten son" (Hebrews 11:17). Faith is so bound up in the Other Conditions for our Justification, that to knowingly omit those other conditions, would declare our faith to be dead. "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). All the Other Conditions of our Justification are part of Evangelical Faith and are conditions for Eternal Salvation. These conditions may properly be called the Works of Faith, such as, perseverance (which is a description of those who follow Jesus to Heaven). "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed" (John 8:31).

According to Your Faith ---New Window

The Fundamental Rule of Conduct for the Kingdom of God

by Tom Stewart

"According to your faith be it unto you"
(Matthew 9:29).

Like a Divine Cycle, faith in the Promises teach us to trust in God, because "all the Promises of God in [Christ Jesus] are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us" (2Corinthians 1:20). Building Christian Confidence is not a humanistic confidence in self, but it is the confidence that God, "that cannot lie" (Titus 1:2), will do as He said. "God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19). The Apostle John wrote in his First Epistle that his purpose in writing, like a Divine Cycle, was to those who had already believed on the LORD Jesus, that they may further understand Him, that they would be encouraged to further trust Him. "These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have Eternal Life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God" (1John 5:13)... Faith is inescapably tied to the Promises. "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the Promises" (Hebrews 6:12). The LORD will take us at whatever level of Spiritual development that we possess, and He will give further revelations of Himself, His Word, and His character. "He that hath My Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love Him, and will manifest Myself to Him" (John 14:21).

The Beauty of Holiness ---New Window

Or, Beautiful Holiness: The Fruit of Loving Obedience

by Katie Stewart

"O worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness"

(Psalm 96:9).

"What Beauty is found in Holiness? The LORD. 'Let the Beauty of the LORD our God be upon us' (Psalm 90:17). And what Beauty 'upon us' does He work? 'Establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it' (90:17). The beautiful 'work' of Holy living God will 'establish... upon us'... And Love? Well, Love is the 'greatest' (1Corinthians 13:13) of all spiritual assets, and without Love, we are 'nothing' (13:2). Love is the motive for Holy living. On Love, the whole Moral Law of God is suspended. '37 Jesus said... Thou shalt LOVE the LORD thy God with ALL thy heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy mind. 38 This is the first and Great Commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two Commandments hang ALL the Law and the prophets' (Matthew 22:37-40)... Of what value is law, if it is not esteemed and obeyed? God obeys His Law, and He expects the same of us... Holiness is the state we're in when we love God with our joyful obedience. 'For this is the LOVE of God, that we KEEP His Commandments: and His Commandments are not grievous' (1John 5:3). Holiness is beautiful because it is the fruit of Love."

Victory Over Temptation ---New Window

by Tom Stewart

"For we have not an High Priest
which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin"
(Hebrews 4:15).

"The choices we make when faced with the temptation to not love God's Word or to speak of ourselves, is the difference between holiness and sin. 'For we have not an High Priest [Jesus] which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in ALL points tempted like as we are, yet WITHOUT sin' (Hebrews 4:15). That holy struggle to overcome the temptation to sin was fought by our Elder Brother, the LORD Jesus. 'For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of One: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren' (2:11). Our High Priest told His disciples at the Last Supper, 'Ye are they which have continued with Me in My temptations' (Luke 22:28)."

Justification By Faith ---New Window

by Charles G. Finney

"Gospel Justification is not the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. Under the gospel, sinners are not justified by having the obedience of Jesus Christ set down to their account, as if He had obeyed the law for them, or in their stead. It is not an uncommon mistake to suppose that when sinners are justified under the gospel they are accounted righteous in the eye of the law, by having the obedience or righteousness of Christ imputed to them. I have not time to go into an examination of this subject now. I can only say that this idea is absurd and impossible, for this reason, that Jesus Christ was bound to obey the law for himself, and could no more perform works of supererogation, or obey on our account, than anybody else. Was it not His duty to love the Lord his God, with all His heart and soul and mind and strength, and to love His neighbor as himself? Certainly; and if He had not done so, it would have been sin. The only work of supererogation He could perform was to submit to sufferings that were not deserved. This is called His obedience unto death, and this is set down to our account. But if His obedience of the law is set down to our account, why are we called on to repent and obey the law ourselves? Does God exact double service, yes, triple service, first to have the law obeyed by the surety for us, then that He must suffer the penalty for us, and then that we must repent and obey ourselves? No such thing is demanded. It is not required that the obedience of another should be imputed to us. All we owe is perpetual obedience to the law of benevolence. And for this there can be no substitute. If we fail of this we must endure the penalty, or receive a free pardon."

A Little Leaven ---New Window

by Tom Stewart

"Doctrine is important, because it is the encapsulation of our understanding of the things "which are most surely believed among us" (Luke 1:1). It is necessary to defend the doctrines that ought to be believed. "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the Common Salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the Faith which was once delivered unto the Saints" (Jude 3). Each generation is commissioned, not only to "teach all nations" (Matthew 28:19), but to pass "Sound Doctrine" (Titus 2:1) on to the succeeding generations, in its purest form. "6 And these Words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them

when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up"

(Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

The only true method of maintaining pure doctrine, is to live it before our children; and ensure that they likewise live what they profess to have received. "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2Timothy 2:2).

In geometry, two lines on the same plane that do not intersect are said to be parallel. When attempting to draw two parallel lines with a straightedge, the slightest amount of error will eventually see the two lines intersect, if extended far enough. The same is true of doctrine that is not backed by a "living-loving" faith, i.e., hypocritical practice will collide with dead doctrine. "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1Corinthians 11:1). In truth, we must guard ourselves from receiving or introducing the slightest amount of error in the doctrine that we believe. "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Colossians 2:8). Only the Spirit of Truth can preserve us from the leaven of error. "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump" (Galatians 5:9). We, then, should rest confident that the Holy Spirit can address us from His Word, teaching us "Sound Doctrine" (Titus 2:1), if we are willing. "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself" (John 7:17)."

("From the Editor's Desktop" ---New Window)

Perfection ---New Window

by Katie Stewart

God's promise of victory over sin, and our responsibility regarding
that wonderful offer.

"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth,
to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is
PERFECT toward Him"

(2 Chronicles 16:9 ).

He Will Subdue Our Iniquities ---New Window

Or, How God Makes Normal Christians to Walk Without Sinning
Or, How Anyone Can Be Ready to Meet God at Any Time

by Tom Stewart

How can anyone speak of walking without sinning, without being completely out of touch with the human condition? The Son of Man, the LORD Jesus Christ, did exactly that. He said,
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).

Systematic Theology

New Window

1851 English edition

The only source for these lectures came from the printed 1851 English edition of SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY by Charles Finney. This is 100% Finney with no deletions or additions. This version has been out of print for over 100 years. This version is the pure standard. All other versions of SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY are taken from this version.

"More than 20 years ago, shortly after Katie and I were married, we Providentially stumbled across
the writings of Charles G. Finney.
First, the Revival Lectures, then his Autobiography.

But, the crowning jewel to Mr. Finney's writings is the Systematic Theology.

With great zeal and trepidation we tackled the puzzles of Mr. Finney's tight reasoning.
At times, it left us completely embarrassed and unable to come to grips with his statements;
but, we were finally rewarded with greater understanding than we thought possible.

Only those willing to pay the price for a greater understanding
of the mind of God and His ways, will attempt to read this.

Be warned.
The price of understanding is willingness to put into practice
whatever God teaches you.

"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17).

Of human writings, I cannot think of a book that has had more profound of an effect upon Katie and I
than Finney's Systematic Theology."

-Tom Stewart

"For the time will come when they will not endure Sound Doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears"
(2Timothy 4:3).

Excerpt from the "Systematic"
Lecture II. Moral Government:

"Moral law proposes but one ultimate end of pursuit to God, and to all moral agents. All its requisitions, in their spirit, are summed up and expressed in one word, love or benevolence. This I only announce here. It will more fully appear hereafter. Moral law is a pure and simple idea of the reason. It is the idea of perfect, universal, and constant consecration of the whole being, to the highest good of being. Just this is, and nothing more nor less can be, moral law; for just this, and nothing more nor less, is a state of heart and a course of life exactly suited to the nature and relations of moral agents, which is the only true definition of moral law."


by John Wesley

"I think it was in the latter end of the year 1740, that I had a conversation with Dr. Gibson, then Bishop of London, at Whitehall. He asked me what I meant by perfection. I told him without any disguise or reserve. When I ceased speaking, he said, 'Mr. Wesley, if this be all you mean, publish it to all the world. If any one then can confute what you say, lie may have free leave.' I answered, 'My Lord, I will;' and accordingly wrote and published the sermon on Christian perfection."

"In this I endeavoured to show,
(1.) In what sense Christians are not,
(2.) In what sense they are, perfect."

The Amazing Humanity of Jesus Christ ---New Window

Or, The Benefit of Christ's Birth

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father,) full of Grace and Truth"

(John 1:14).

by Tom Stewart

The Old Testament of the Scriptures is replete with clues of God's purpose to redeem and govern mankind through the human advent of the Divine Son of God. "6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will perform this" (Isaiah 9:6-7). What astounds us is that the Son of God condescended to become a man-- to suffer all the difficulties of the flesh and the human condition, "yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). Heaven will surely be filled with the Saints' praise and admiration for so bold an act of love that the Son of Man would become human flesh and then "lay down His life for His friends" (John 15:13). "Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (15:14).

What We Believe ---New Window

by Tom Stewart

How to Scripturally measure us.

"But speak thou the things which become Sound Doctrine"
(Titus 2:1).

"Carried about with
every wind of doctrine,
others only need to be blown upon
and away they go;

but those who
love the doctrines of grace,
because they possess
the grace of the doctrines,
stand like rocks in the midst of
raging seas...

Whence this stability?
'I am with thee, saith the LORD':
that is the true answer.

Jehovah will save and deliver
faithful souls
from all the assaults of the adversary.
Hosts are against us,
but the LORD of hosts is with us."

"Faith's Checkbook" ---New Window
A Daily Devotional by Spurgeon-
TODAY'S ENTRY ---New Window

"Sin turns all God's grace
into wantonness;
it is the dare of his justice,
the rape of his mercy,
the jeer of his patience,
the slight of his power,
and the contempt of his love."

Mr. John Bunyan's Dying Sayings ---New Window
by John Bunyan
(It is unknown who collected these.)
A collection of aphorisms
gathered and classified under headings.
They are his thoughts,
whether uttered in his last illness,
or expressed earlier in life.
Published in Offor's 1861 edition of
"Bunyan's Works."

Abiding in Obedience, in Love

"If ye keep My Commandments, ye shall abide in My love"

(John 15:10).

"These things cannot be parted -- abiding in obedience and abiding in the love of Jesus. A life under the rule of Christ can alone prove that we are the objects of our LORD's delight. We must keep our LORD's command if we would bask in His love. If we live in sin we cannot live in the love of Christ. Without the holiness which pleases God we cannot please Jesus. He who cares nothing for holiness knows nothing of the love of Jesus.

Conscious enjoyment of our LORD's love is a delicate thing. It is far more sensitive to sin and holiness than mercury is to cold and heat. When we are tender of heart and careful in thought, lip, and life to honor our LORD Jesus, then we receive tokens of His love without number. If we desire to perpetuate such bliss we must perpetuate holiness. The LORD Jesus will not hide His face from us unless we hide our face from Him. Sin makes the cloud which darkens our Sun: if we will be watchfully obedient and completely consecrated we may walk in the light, as God is in the light, and have as sure an abiding in the love of Jesus as Jesus has in the love of the Father. Here is a sweet promise with a solemn 'if,' LORD, let me have this 'if' in my hand; for as a key it opens this casket."

"Faith's Checkbook" ---New Window A Daily Devotional by Spurgeon- SEE TODAY'S ENTRY ---New Window


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Or, A Compendium of Scriptural Knowledge

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by Dr. Adam Clarke (1762-1832)

"As the grace that produces any of these states may be lost through sin, or carelessness; hence the necessity that the true penitent should continue to watch and pray till he is justified that, when justified, he should continue to watch and pray, and deny himself, and take up his cross, till he is sanctified; and, when sanctified, he should continue the same course, believing, loving, and obeying, till he is glorified. As he will be in danger as long as he lives of falling from grace, so he should continue to watch and pray, believe, and maintain good works, as long as he breathes; for while thus employed, humbly trusting in the Lord Jesus, he cannot fall."

A Series of Articles
in our "Fellowship" section.

What the Bible Says About
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In order to truly live, man needs to know what God thinks. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). For this reason, it is more than a passing interest that we ought to ask, "What saith the Scripture?" (Romans 4:3). Since "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (10:17), and "without faith it is impossible to please [God]" (Hebrews 11:6), then understanding, believing, and obeying what God has said about anything, is the key to pleasing God. Our "faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6), indicates that we, like Abraham, can be called a "Friend of God" (James 2:23). When our Saviour Jesus Christ said, "Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:14), He indicated that Ultimate Friendship with Him, is based upon the loving obedience, that began when we asked, "What saith the Scripture?" (Romans 4:3). "He that hath an ear, let him hear" (Revelation 2:7) What the Bible Says About...



Luck and Gambling

Divorce and Remarriage



Sermons On Important Subjects

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Sample Quote:
"I endeavored to show that a change of heart is not that in which a sinner is passive, but that in which he is active. That the change is not physical, but moral. That it is the sinner's own act. That it consists in changing his mind, or disposition, in regard to the supreme object of pursuit. A change in the end at which he aims, and not merely in the means of obtaining his end. A change in the governing choice or preference of the mind. That it consists in preferring the glory of God, and the interests of his kingdom, to one's own happiness, and to every thing else. That it is a change from a state of selfishness in which a person prefers his own interest above every thing else, to that disinterested benevolence that prefers God's happiness and glory, and the interests of his kingdom, to his own private happiness."
-from "How to Change Your Heart", by CHARLES G. FINNEY.














C. G. Finney

The Oberlin Evangelist

Lectures Index
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Sermons and Lectures by Charles G. Finney,
president of Oberlin College

"While Mr. Finney was masterful at presenting the intricacies of a "Systematic Theology" for the comprehensive study of the seminary student, the sermons and lectures from "The Oberlin Evangelist" were written for the lay person, as stated in Mr. Finney's own words,

"I will try to write as if I had you all before me in one great congregation, as if I beheld your countenances and were addressing you 'face to face.'"

-from "Professor Finney's Letter of January 1, 1839".

Lecture I.

Lecture II.

Lecture III.

Lecture IV.

Lecture V.

Lecture VI.

Lecture VII.

Lecture VIII.

Lecture IX.

Lecture X.

Lect XI./ XII
Eternal Life



True and False Religion

The Law of God- No. 1

The Law of God- No. 2

Glorifying God

True and False Peace

Dominion Over Sin

Carefulness A Sin

The Promises

Lecture XIII.

Lecture XIV.

Lecture XV.

Lecture XVI.

Lecture XVII.

Lecture XVIII.

Lecture XIX.

Lecture XX.

Lecture XXI.

Lecture XXII.
Being In Debt

The Holy Spirit of Promise

The Covenants

The Rest of Faith- No. 1

The Rest of Faith- No. 2

Affections and Emotions of God

Legal and Gospel Experience

How to Prevent Our Employments
from Injuring Our Souls

Grieving the Holy Spirit- No. 1

Grieving the Holy Spirit- No. 2

We have the years 1839-1862 of "The Oberlin Evangelist."
Please visit the "Oberlin" listings ---New Window.

Read the following sample lecture:

True and False Religion

by Charles Grandison Finney
President of Oberlin College

from "The Oberlin Evangelist" Publication of Oberlin College
Lecture IV
February 13, 1839

Public Domain Text
Reformatted by Katie Stewart

Text.--Gal. 5:1: "Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

The observances of the ceremonial law were designedly a typical representation of the gospel. The Jews had misunderstood them, and supposed that their observance was the ground of justification and acceptance with God. After the introduction of Christianity, many of the Christian Jews were exceedingly zealous for their observance, and for uniting the ceremonial dispensation with Christianity. On the contrary, Paul, "the great Apostle of the Gentiles," insisted upon justification by faith alone, entirely irrespective of any legal observances and conditions whatever. There were a set of teachers in the early days of Christianity who were called Judaizers, from the fact, that they insisted upon uniting legal observances with Christianity, as a ground of justification. Soon after the establishment of the Galatian Churches, by St. Paul, these Judaizers succeeded in introducing this corruption into the Christian Churches. To rebuke this error, and overthrow it, was the design of this epistle. The yoke and bondage spoken of in the text, was the yoke of legal observances. The liberty here mentioned is the liberty of love--of justification--and of sanctification, by faith alone.

In discussing this subject, I design to show,

I. What it is to make a man a slave.

II. What it is to be a slave.

III. What true liberty is.

IV. That the religion of many persons is mere slavery.

V. That true religion is genuine liberty.

I. I am to show what it is to make a man a SLAVE.

To enslave a man is to treat a person as a thing--to set aside moral agency; and to treat a moral agent as a mere piece of property.

II. I am to show, what it is to be a SLAVE.

It is not to be in a state of involuntary servitude, for, strictly speaking, such a state is impossible. The slaves in the Southern States are not, strictly speaking, in a state of involuntary servitude. Upon the whole, they choose to serve their masters, rather than do worse. A man cannot act against his will, but his will may be influenced by considerations that set aside his liberty. To be a slave, is to be under the necessity of choosing between two evils. Thus the slaves in the Southern States prefer being as they are, to being in a worse condition--to being imprisoned or whipped for attempting to escape. But plainly, this is a choice between two evils, neither of which, if left to themselves would they choose. So a wicked man may choose to obey human laws, rather than suffer the consequences of disobedience; still he may abhor the laws, and feel himself shut up to the necessity of choosing between two evils. So a wife who does not love her husband, may choose, upon the whole, to live with him, rather than break up her family--lose her character--and subject herself to poverty and reproach. And yet, if she does not love her husband, she will consider living with him, merely as the least of two calamities. She feels shut up to the necessity of choosing between two courses, neither of which is agreeable to her. All that can be said, is that she chooses that course which, upon the whole, is the least disagreeable.

To be obliged to choose against our feelings and inclinations--to be shut up to the necessity of pursuing a course of life not chosen for its own sake, but as the least of two evils--is the very essence of slavery.

III. I am to show what true liberty is.

A man who obeys wholesome laws, from love to virtue and good order, is free in the highest sense; but when he obeys law from restraint, not because he loves virtue, but from fear of punishment, he is a slave. Here it is plain that his choice of obedience is, by him, considered as a choice of two evils, and not that course of conduct which he prefers for its own sake.

IV. The Religion of many persons is mere Slavery.

Thus, what they call their religious duties--their prayers--reading the scriptures, &c. are hurried over, or for slight causes wholly omitted. While that which constitutes their main business, commands their time, and thoughts, and hearts.

In short, it is plain that their religion, instead of being their happiness, as something chosen for its own sake, and pursued on its own account, is their misery, as the least of two evils. Instead of making them happy, enough of it would be hell.

V. I am to show, that true religion is genuine liberty.


1. From what has been said, it is manifest, that many professors of religion, in reality, regard God as a great slaveholder. I do not mean that they would say this in words. Nor that they understand that they do regard him in this light. The reason is, that they do not understand themselves to be slaves. If they realized what slavery is, and that they themselves have the spirit of slaves, and are, in their religion, all that is meant by being slaves, they would then be shocked with the irresistible inference that they do regard God as a Slaveholder.

2. What an abomination such a religion must be in the sight of God. Instead of seeing his professed children engaged, heart and soul, in his service--finding it the essence of true liberty, and their supreme joy--he beholds them groaning under it, as a severe burden, submitted to only to escape his frown.

3. You see, in this discourse, the true distinction between the religion of law, and that of the gospel. The religion of many professors seems to set as painfully on them, as a straitjacket. It is evidently not their natural element. It is the bondage of law, and not the religion of peace.

4. Many express indignation against Southern slavery, as they may well do, but who are slaves themselves. They know full well, that if they would be honest with themselves, their religion is to them a yoke of bondage. They are afraid of death--afraid of the judgment--afraid of God.

They submit to religion as the only method of escaping "the wrath to come." But yet, let it be known to them, that there is no hell--no solemn judgment--that men will universally be saved, do what they will, and they will feel relieved of a weighty burden. They will feel rid of the responsibilities of moral agents, and cast off their religion as of no consequence.

5. This slavery is utterly inexcusable, and consists in the perverse state of the heart.

6. Such religion is worse than no religion.

(1) It is not any more safe, than no religion.

(2) It is more hypocritical than none.

(3) It confirms self-righteousness.

(4) It begets, and perpetuates a delusion in the mind.

(5) It ruins the soul of the professor, and is a stumbling block to others. What is a greater stumbling block, for example, than for an impenitent husband to see his wife possessing this painful, legal religion? Instead of observing her happy, humble, sweet, heavenly minded, and peaceful, like an angel, he perceives that her religion makes her complaining, uneasy, and irritable; in short, that it is the lashings of conscience, by which she is actuated, and not the constant flow, of the deep feelings of her heart.

(6) This kind of religion is more dishonorable to God than none. It is really the contrast of true religion. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against which there is no law." Now the religion of which I have been speaking, is the very opposite of all this. To be sure, a man who is openly irreligious, dishonors God. But a man who professes to be God's representative--to exhibit God's spirit--and to be the reflection of his image; and then go about the duties of religion, as a task to be submitted to, instead of pouring out the overflowings of His benevolence--to unclench His hard hand, at the stern biddings of conscience--is to publish as gross a libel upon the character of God, and the religion of the gospel, as is possible.

(7) It is worse than none, inasmuch as it prevents conviction, and true conversion. Persons in this state suppose themselves to be truly religious, and seem not to dream that this is the very opposite of true religion.

Now, while under this delusion, it is vain to expect their eyes to be opened, and to anticipate a real and thorough conversion to God.

7. All who have left their first love, are again entangled in the yoke of bondage. If any of you have known what it was to love God with all your heart, you have known what it was to be free. You know, by your own consciousness, that your religion was then the essence of true liberty. But if you have laid aside your love, no matter by what other principles you are actuated, you are "entangled again in the yoke of bondage." Your religion has ceased to be liberty, and you have become a slave.--Now I ask you, "Where is the blessedness" you once spoke of? Have you that great peace that they possess who love the law of God? Does the peace of God rule in your hearts? Is Christ's joy fulfilled in you? Or are you lashed along by your conscience, actuated by hope and fear, and any, and every other principle than love?

And now, beloved, I ask you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether you have the religion of the gospel. I have, in this discourse, endeavored to set before you, in as simple a form as is possible, the grand distinction between true saints and hypocrites. To which of these classes do you belong? Remember the eye of God is upon you. "Be ye not deceived, for God is not mocked." "If the Son hath made you free, then are ye free indeed." And I exhort you in the words of the text, "Stand fast therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." But, on the other hand, if the Holy Ghost sees you with the chains of slavery upon your soul, driven on by conscience, as by a slave-holder, working out your painful religion, lest you should lose your soul, I beseech you, in the name of Christ, get up out of this bondage--lay aside these chains--"loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, 0 captive daughter of Zion,"--lay aside this legal yoke, and come forth from slavery, and death, that Christ may give you liberty and life.

Seven Reasons

From the book

by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley

Seven Reasons Why I Believe
by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
"The more I study the calamity which follows the rejection of the Bible the more I am convinced that the Bible is the inbreathed Word of God. In view of this impregnable fact, surely we need to get back to the Bible, back to Bible preaching, back to Bible praying and back to Bible practicing. A revival of Bible Christianity alone can save the situation. A rediscovery of the Word of God brought about the glorious Reformation of four-hundred years ago and thank God the Bible dynamite is just as potent today. Let us then let the Bible rule our hearts and homes and refuse to support those who dare to trifle with it in the pulpit. Above all things, let us seize the unfailing promises of the Book and never rest night nor day from prayer until the God of the Bible visits us with a gracious revival."


Seven Reasons Why I Believe in

by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
"When human impotence bows to that answer of divine omnipotence the Miracle of the Virgin Birth can be whole-heartedly accepted. He who questions the Virgin Birth challenges the almightiness of God. To discredit the Virgin Birth is not only to strike at the nature of Christ but at the very power of God."


Seven Reasons Why I Believe in

by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
"This vital consideration brings us to the fulcrum of the great operation of the Divine Revelation, to the centre of the vast circumference of Divine Redemption and to the very heart of the throbbing purpose of Divine Reconciliation. We come from the shallows of human speculation to the depths of divine revelation when we come to the Blood. We step at this juncture from the shadows of Old Testament typology to the blazing sunshine of New Testament theology. It is here we launch our souls from the shores of man's estimate into the boundless, tideless, endless sea of God's ultimate."


Seven Reasons Why I Believe in

by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley
"The Resurrection is essential to Christianity, for by it alone can Christianity be confirmed. The Resurrection is the great corroborator of the Christian gospel. Remove this keystone and the goodly temple crashes into ruin. As life is essential to living so the Resurrection is essential to a living Christianity. Take away the Resurrection and Christianity becomes a dead letter, but another contribution to the world's Pantheon."
"And if Christ be not raised, your Faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (1Corinthians 15:17).


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