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The following is the closing of Pastor Dan’s first sermon in his first preaching series at Five Points entitled, The Ten Words on Religious Affection. This sermon, The First Word on Religious Affection: No God But God, was preached on December 14, 1997. You can find the sermons here:
“The Christian, when he comes to die, even the bad [frowning providences in life] is good. Does that mean that when you go to the doctor and the biopsy comes back and it’s not a favorable thing that you go running around cheering, “Yay! Yay! I have cancer!”? No. When that biopsy doesn’t come back well and you’re laying in that hospital room, in the depths of it, what God do you believe in? This will be good in the end… What do we really believe? Where is our trust? Where do we run for our security, our help, our satisfaction, and our pleasure and our joy? Dan runs too often to the gods of this age and my guess is that you might not be a whole lot different than I am. No, we find our satisfaction and joy and pleasure in Christ and in Christ alone, the only True and Sovereign One… What God do we really believe in? We’re commanded to have no other god but God. So the questions stands: Where’s my trust and what do I believe? The gods of this age or the God of the ages?”
“And I am afraid there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility that they are willing in words to debase the creature, and to all the glory of salvation to the Lord, yet know not what manner of spirit they are of . . . Self righteousness can feed upon doctrines, as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace.”
Who do you think said that? Sounds like many contemporary pastors and authors, but you may be surprised! It was John Newton writing a letter in the late 1700s… some things never change and some letters are always relevant.[Excerpt from John Newton, “On Controversy,”The Works of John Newton, Vol. 1, p. 272]
“The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice…” (Psalm 97:1)
“The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble…” (Psalm 99:1)
The Lord is King of all creation. Holiness is His character and righteousness defines His acts. His people will both rejoice and tremble at His sovereignty and holiness. It is not one or the other! Joy and fear are constant companions in the lives of His saints.