Archive for ‘Ten Commandments’

November 30, 2015

A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel

Treatise on Law and Gospel CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

Martin Luther said that the law ought never to be preached apart from the gospel, and that the gospel ought never to be preached apart from the law. We live in a day when few professing Christians understand either the law or the gospel, much less their relationship to each other.

In this important work, long out of print, the great Scottish preacher John Colquhoun helps eliminate this unnecessary confusion, showing how the law and the gospel differ as well as how they agree. If we do not understand the law and its role, we can never rightly understand the grace of the gospel. Faulty conclusions lead to antinomianism (“the law has no place”) or legalism (“God’s favor comes from doing the right things”). Both are deadly paths off the narrow road.

“The subject of this treatise is, in the highest degree, important and interesting to both saints and sinners. To know it experimentally is to be wise unto salvation, and to live habitually under the influence of it is to be at once holy and happy. To have spiritual and distinct views of it is the way to be kept from verging towards self-righteousness on the one hand and licentiousness on the other; it is to be enabled to assert the absolute freeness of sovereign grace, and, at the same time, the sacred interests of true holiness. Without an experimental knowledge of and an unfeigned faith in the law and the gospel, a man can neither venerate the authority of the one nor esteem the grace of the other.” –John Colquhoun

Source: Back Cover

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
ADVERTISEMENT
CHAPTER 1. The Law of God, or the Moral Law in General

Section 1. The law as inscribed on the heart of man in his creation.
Section 2. The law as given to Adam under the form of the covenant of works
Section 3. The law, in the hand of Christ the Mediator, as a rule of life to believers

CHAPTER 2. The Law of God, as Promulgated to the Israelites from Mount Sinai

Section 1. Of the covenant of grace, and of the Ten Commandments, as the rule of duty to believers according to that covenant, as published from Mount Sinai
Section 2. Of the moral law in the form of a covenant of works, as displayed on Mount Sinai to the Israelites
Section 3. Of the law promulgated from Mount Sinai to the Israelites, as the matter of a national covenant between God and them

CHAPTER 3. The Properties of the Moral Law

CHAPTER 4. The Rules for Understanding Aright the Ten Commandments

CHAPTER 5. The Gospel of Christ

CHAPTER 6. The Uses of the Gospel, and of the Law in Subservience to It

Section 1. The principal uses of the Gospel
Section 2. The uses of the moral law in its subservience to the Gospel

CHAPTER 7. The Difference between the Law and the Gospel

CHAPTER 8. The Agreement between the Law and the Gospel

CHAPTER 9. The Establishment of the Law and the Gospel

CHAPTER 10. The Believer’s Privilege of Being Dead to the law as a Covenant of Works, with a Highly Important Consequence of It

Section 1. What it is in the law as a covenant of works to which believers are dead
Section 2. What is included in the believer’s being dead to the law as a covenant
Section 3. The means of becoming dead to the law as a covenant
Section 4. Of the important consequence of a believer’s being dead to the law as a covenant of works
Section 5. Of the necessity of a beleiver’s being dead to the law as a covenant, in order to his living unto God

CHAPTER 11. The High Obligations under which Believers Lie, to Yield Even Perfect Obedience to the Law as a Rule of Life

CHAPTER 12. The Nature, Necessity, and Desert of Good Works

Section 1. The nature of good works
Section 2. The necessity of good works
Section 3. The desert of good works

John Colquhoun

John Colquhoun (1748-1827)

About the Author

While on a walking tour through Scotland during a College vacation, Alexander Moody Stuart spent a weekend at a country inn on the road between Glasgow and Edinburgh. His interest was aroused in two lads who arrived at the inn late on the Saturday evening. After spending the night there they left early next morning and returned to the inn again that evening. He discovered that they were working lads from Glasgow who, on coming under spiritual concern, had sought for a minister that preached the gospel fully. They eventually found a preacher to their mind in Edinburgh and were determined to wait on his ministry. That preacher was Dr John Colquhoun of the New Church in South Leith. Such value did they set upon Colquhoun’s preaching that they were willing to walk about a hundred miles each weekend to hear him and be back at their work at 6 o’clock on Monday morning. These young Christians were typical of many in Scotland at the beginning of the nineteenth century who had felt the power of the Word and therefore highly prized the full gospel ministry at South Leith. With much of the Church of Scotland lying under the blight of unbelieving Moderatism, ministries like that of Colquhoun and his contemporaries – Dr John Love of Glasgow and Dr MacDonald of Ferintosh – were oases in the desert.

John Colquhoun was born at Luss in Dunbartonshire on 1 January, 1748. The son of a small farmer, he received his elementary education at the local Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) school. The teacher, a Christian, not only instructed the minds of his pupils but sought to impress the truth upon their hearts. It was to his explanation and application of the Westminster Shorter Catechism question, ‘What is effectual calling?’ that Colquhoun afterwards traced his conversion.

On feeling led to devote himself to the ministry he entered Glasgow University in 1768, where he pursued his studies for ten years. The Presbytery of Glasgow licensed him to preach in 1780, and the following year he was ordained to what proved to be his only pastoral charge—the New Church in South Leith (St John’s, Constitution Street). There he exercised an effective ministry until forced to give up through ill-health a year before his death in 1827.

Shortly after his conversion John Colquhoun had walked all the way from Luss to Glasgow, a distance in all of about fifty miles, to buy a copy of Thomas Boston’s Fourfold State. This book had a moulding influence on his early Christian life. He came to esteem it next to his Bible. The influence of Boston’s teaching was later to permeate his ministry and writings. Thomas Boston’s remains had been laid to rest in the beautiful churchyard of Ettrick sixteen years before Colquhoun was born, but few if any of his followers bore such marks of his influence as the minister of South Leith.

Although a minister of the Established Church, Colquhoun was regarded as one of the ablest exponents of ‘Marrow’ theology. By an Act of Assembly on 20 May, 1720 his Church had condemned the book, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, because it maintained that there was a universal call and offer of the gospel to sinners. Defenders of the free offer—nicknamed ‘Marrowmen’—foremost of whom were Thomas Boston and the Erskine brothers, were forced to secede from the Church in 1722. Later, however, as we find in the case of John Colquhoun, upholders of ‘Marrow’ teaching continued to exercise their ministry within the Establishment. How Colquhoun reconciled his respect for an Act of the General Assembly with his uncompromising maintenance of ‘Marrow’ theology is illustrated in some advice he is reported to have given to the students who sought his counsel. ‘Noo, ye ken’, he would say to them in his colloquial tongue, ‘I daurna advise ye to read the “Marrow” for the Assembly condemned it; but though they condemned the “Marrow” they didna condemn Tammes Boston’s notes on the “Marrow”, and that’s a book that ye should read.’

It is not surprising that one of the great characteristics of Colquhoun’s ministry was the emphasis on the duty and necessity of sinners complying with the offers and invitations of the gospel. At the same time he dwelt much on the danger of hypocrisy. The depth of his own spiritual experience, his discriminating views of truth, and his aptitude for religious conversation made him of great use to those in spiritual distress.

Retired and unassuming by nature, he sought no place of distinction in the Church. Indeed, it was in his mature years that he began his career as an author. He wrote seven treatises, all of which are closely related in theme and manner of presentation. The first to appear was on Spiritual Comfort in 1813. It was followed by Law and Gospel (1815), The Covenant of Grace (1818), The Covenant of Works (1822), Saving Faith (1824), The Promises (1825), and Evangelical Repentance (1826; republished by the Trust in 1965 as Repentance).

It was in his writings perhaps more than anything else that Colquhoun came nearest to Boston. They were both at their best in expounding the grand central themes of salvation, and so thoroughly had Colquhoun imbibed The Fourfold State that in cast of thought, mode of development, and turn of expression his own writings bear striking similarities to it. Above all, the works of both are thoroughly experimental and practical. They preached and wrote for the common people, and it was the common people of Scotland for many generations following that loved and valued their works.

[John J Murray in his ‘Biographical Introduction’ to Colquhoun’s Repentance.]

Source: Banner of Truth

Don Kistler

Dr. Don Kistler (1949-)

About the Editor

Dr. Don Kistler, founder of the Northampton Press, was born in California in 1949, the second of five sons of Jack and Faye Kistler. He grew up on a dairy farm in Central California and graduated from Azusa Pacific College in Southern California in 1971 with a double major in public speaking and religion. He holds the M. Div. and D. Min. degrees, and is an ordained minister. Prior to entering the gospel ministry, Dr. Kistler coached high school and college football for over 15 years.

Dr. Kistler pastored a local church for four years. As part of his preaching and teaching ministry, he has spoken at conferences with such notable figures as Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. R. C. Sproul, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. J. I. Packer, Dr. John Gerstner, Elisabeth Elliot, Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, Dr. Michael Horton, Rev. Alistair Begg, Dr. Albert M. Mohler, the late Dr. James Boice, and Rev. Eric Alexander, to name just a few.

Dr. Kistler is the author of the book A Spectacle Unto God: The Life and Death of Christopher Love, and Why Read the Puritans Today? and is the editor of all the Soli Deo Gloria Puritan reprints. He was a contributing author for Justification by Faith ALONE!; Sola Scriptura; Trust and Obey: Obedience and the Christian; Onward, Christian Soldiers: Protestants Affirm the Church; and Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching.

He has edited over 150 books. He currently resides in Orlando, FL.

Source: Don Kistler Online

Hardcover, 320 pages

Publisher: Soli Deo Gloria Publications

Publication Date(s): 1835 (first American edition by Wiley and Long); 1999 (Soli Deo Gloria reprint and modernization)

ISBN: 1-57358-083-X

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

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November 17, 2015

A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel

Treatise on Law and Gospel CoverStatus: Available

Book Description

In this book, Colquhoun helps us understand the precise relationship between law and gospel. He also impresses us with the importance of knowing this relationship. Colquhoun especially excels in showing how important the law is as a believer’s rule of life without doing injury to the freeness and fullness of the gospel. By implication, he enables us to draw four practical conclusions: 1) the law shows us how to live, 2) the law as a rule of life combats both antinomianism and legalism, 3) the law shows us how to love, and 4) the law promotes true freedom.

Table of Contents:

Chapter

1. The Law of God or the Moral Law in General

2. The Law of God as Promulgated to the Israelites from Mount Sinai

3. The Properties of the Moral Law

4. The Rules for Understanding Aright the Ten Commandments

5. The Gospel of Christ

6. The Uses of the Gospel, and of the Law in Subservience to It

7. The Difference between the Law and the Gospel

8. The Agreement between the Law and the Gospel

9. The Establishment of the Law by the Gospel

10. The Believer’s Privilege of Being Dead to the Law as a Covenant of Works

11. The High Obligations under Which Believers Lie

12. The Nature, Necessity, and Desert of Good Works

Quote from the Author:

“The law and the gospel are the principal parts of divine revelation; or rather they are the center, sum, and substance of all the other parts of it. Every passage of sacred Scripture is either law or gospel, or is capable of being referred either to the one or to the other . . . If then a man cannot distinguish aright between the law and the gospel, he cannot rightly understand so much as a single article of divine truth. If he does not have spiritual and just apprehensions of the holy law, he cannot have spiritual and transforming discoveries of the glorious gospel; and, on the other hand, if his view of the gospel is erroneous, his notions of the law cannot be right.”—John Colquhoun

John Colquhoun (1748-1827)

John Colquhoun (1748-1827)

About the Author

John Colquhoun (1748–1827) was a minister in the Church of Scotland whose sermons and writings reflect those of the Marrow brethren of the Secession church. Colquhoun’s writings are theologically astute and intensely practical. He wrote on the core doctrines of the gospel, particularly on experiential soteriology.

Source: Reformation Heritage Books

Library patrons who have read this book are invited to share their comments, reviews, questions or criticisms for discussion in the comments below this post.

September 17, 2015

Covenant Renewal (Exodus 34:1-28)

Chuck CainOn September 13, 2015, the adult Sunday School class studied Exodus 34:1-28.

Verses 6-7 are often quoted throughout the Old Testament. Listed are seven attributes by which God expresses himself. These would have been particularly welcomed by Moses and Israel in light of the nation’s recent idolatry. God is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, forgiving, yet just. These verses also identify the occasion that God “passed before Moses and proclaimed his name” as stated in 33:19.

God’s renewal of the covenant is expressed in verses 10-28, with particular emphasis on commandments that would prevent further idolatry. In verses 10-16 he warns Israel of making covenants with neighboring peoples as they enter the promised land and falling sway to their religions, especially through intermarriage. Verses 17-26 list another set of 10 commandments with a further emphasis on warnings regarding idolatry. In particular they emphasize worship through God’s prescribed festivals rather than pagan festivals.

In verse 27 Moses is commanded to record these words, which may have also included God’s commandments regarding the tabernacle in chapters 25-31. In verse 28 it is God who wrote the 10 Commandments on the stone tablets as promised in verse 1.–Chuck Cain

Listen to “Covenant Renewal (Exodus 34:1-28)” at mcopc.org!

April 29, 2015

Interpreting the Ten Commandments

Chuck CainOn Sunday April 26, 2015, seven principles for interpreting the Ten Commandments were reviewed: the biblical rule, the inside/outside rule, the two-sided rule, the rule of categories, the “Am I my brother’s keeper rule, the law of the tables, and the rule of love. Finally, each of the Commandments was read and briefly discussed. 

The Israelites response at Sinai is described in Exodus 20:18-21. They trembled at hearing the voice of God and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Moses is sought to be their mediator, their lawyer, before God. Moses then ascends Mount Sinai a fourth time. (The three previous occasions are described in Chapter 19.) There Moses receives the Book of the Covenant recorded on Exodus 20:23 through 23:13. The Book of the Covenant will later be read to the people as stated in Exodus 24:7.

Listen to “Interpreting the Ten Commandments” at mcopc.org.

April 22, 2015

Institutes of the Christian Religion (Battles Translation) (2 Volumes)

Institutes 02 CoverInstitutes 01 CoverStatus: Available

Publisher’s Description

This is the definitive English-language edition of one of the monumental works of the Christian church. Under Dr. McNeill’s personal supervision labored a whole corps of expert Latinists and Calvin scholars. All previous editions—in Latin, French, German, and English—have been collated; references and notes have been verified, corrected, and expanded; and new bibliographies have been added. The translator and his associates have taken great care to preserve the rugged strength and vividness of Calvin’s writing. They have not, however, hesitated to break up overly long sentences to conform to modern English usage or, whenever possible, to render heavy Latinate theological terms in simple language. The result is a translation that achieves a high degree of accuracy and at the same time is eminently readable.

Long recognized for the quality of its translations, introductions, explanatory notes, and indexes, the Library of Christian Classics provides scholars and students with modern English translations of some of the most significant Christian theological texts in history. Through these works–each written prior to the end of the sixteenth century–contemporary readers are able to engage the ideas that have shaped Christian theology and the church through the centuries.

John_Calvin_by_HolbeinAbout the Author

John Calvin (1509–64) was a prominent French theologian during the Protestant Reformation and the father of the theological system known as Calvinism. (from Theopedia.com).

About the Editor

John T. McNeill was an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. He taught at Westminster Hall; Queen’s University, Ontario; Knox College, Toronto; the University of Chicago; and Union Theological Seminary, New York. McNeill authored many books, and was one of the general editors of The Library of Christian Classics.

Book Details

2 Volumes | 1,822 Pages
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: January 1960

Source: WTS Books

April 21, 2015

Characteristics of the Ten Commandments, part 2

Chuck CainOn Sunday, April 19, 2015 the adult Sunday school class continued to review twelve topics relating to the Ten Commandments. The five reviewed last week were summarized along with additional discussion regarding the liberty and benefits that the law provides us. The law communicates to us the attributes our God’s values, and because we love him we rejoice in emulating those values like we would those of an earthly father.

The following additional topics were reviewed this week:

6. The Law’s Eternal Validity
7. Examples of the Law Being Known Before Sinai
8. Types of Laws –
– moral, civil, and ceremonial; and errors in their understanding, such as theonomy and dispensationalism.
9. How the Decalogue Is Repeated and Fully Developed in the New Testament
10. The Three Uses of the Law
– It teaches God’s people how to live for his glory
– It restrains sin in society
– it reveals sinners’ need for a savior
Topic 11 was briefly introduced regarding hermeneutics of the Decalogue.—Chuck Cain

Listen to “Characteristics of the Ten Commandments, part 2” at mcopc.org

April 14, 2015

Characteristics of the Ten Commandments, part 1 (Exodus 20)

Chuck CainOn Sunday, April 12, 2015 the adult Sunday School lesson focused on Exodus 20 and various characteristics of the Ten Commandments. Five of twelve topics were covered this week.

First, various preliminary items were covered such as the term “Decalogue” or “ten words.”

Second, the preamble and historical prologue in verse 2 was reviewed. This led to the third topic comprising the question as to whether Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt was replaced by a new bondage under the law. But the law brought not a new bondage but a new freedom, the “law of liberty” (James 1:25). Several examples of this new freedom were provided. In particular, the liberation of negative commands was described as a fourth topic. One particular example highlighted was the command to Adam and Eve not to eat of the one tree. This “shall not” command included the freedom to eat of all other trees. If the command had been to eat only of one tree it would have been much more restrictive.

Finally, a discussion proceeded regarding the fact that laws always reflect the character of the lawgiver. Each of the Ten Commandments were discussed along with how each reflects certain attributes of God. — Chuck Cain

Listen to “Characteristics of the Ten Commandments, part 1″ (Exodus 20) at mcopc.org.