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  • « Autosoterism | Main | Keep the Faith Tony! »

    A Summary of the Gospel

    Excerpts from Gospel Conversation by Jeremiah Burroughs

    Of Burroughs it was said that... "it grieved his soul to see how, among professors of religion, holiness of life and circumspect walking is not attended to in this dissolute and dissolved age in which we live. What truths, therefore, served most to revive and renew that spirit and vigor of practical holiness which was breathing in them before these times, these he most insisted on and pressed upon the consciences of believers. And he who is conversant in his writings will readily discern that he judged the power of godliness not to consist in high-towering speculation (though he was of excellently-raised parts), but in holy conversation, which is peculiarly the subject of this treatise; therein following the direction of Paul to Titus exhorting believers in God to maintain good works, to go before others in good works, or to set before others good works, and the words imply.

    While a Christian pursues this with all zealous fervency and intention, he must withal be acquainted with the root from whence all his holiness must spring. Good works are dangerous if they are made the foundation of the great point of justification by faith; but if they are used in the superstructure then they are very useful. We cannot have children from Christ until we are married to Christ. There are no works of sanctification before there is union with Christ. Many cry out for obedience and good works, yet are profane because they do not go to Christ for these. "You will not come unto me that you might have life," said our Savior. Unless we do all for and from Christ, our lusts will not be mortified, our duties will not be accepted, and our consciences will not be purified. We shall not be strengthened against crosses, neither shall we go on cheerfully or persevere.

    The foolish, proud heart of man is loathe to be so beholding to Jesus Christ as to receive salvation from Him altogether. It wants to have something it can do and something Christ must do. It will only take in Christ to make the work more sure. There is a sturdy stoutness and unyieldingness of spirit in men against the blessed truths of the gospel made known unto them. They must have peace, comfort and assurance their own way or they will reject it all. They would find a principle of life and power within themselves and not go to Christ for it. They would bring something to Christ and not fetch all from Christ, not knowing that the way which all true believers have gone (after much wearying of themselves to find something in themselves) has been at last to roll themselves wholly upon the free grace of God through Jesus Christ, seeing nothing in themselves, yet giving glory to God by believing. And if they could bring their hearts to be so disposed and qualified, yet they see the danger of resting on what they are, have and do. And if lack of such and such conditions and qualifications had ground enough to keep them from Christ, in might have hindered any who ever cast themselves upon the free grace of God, because they would still have been at a loss, finding a defect in themselves...And when after humiliation and casting down for sin, they begin to stand upright, as they think, upon the legs of their prayers, performances, inherent graces and qualifications, and righteousness and holiness expressed in their lives and conversations, they may yet, notwithstanding all this, be brought not to glory in themselves but in Jesus Christ, and willingly come down from the throne of their own conceits, sufficiencies, abilities, and be at the footstool and threshold of Jesus Christ. So that, seeing they know nothing, are nothing, have nothing, and do nothing, they may be nothing in their own eyes; that Christ may be all, do all their work in them and for them, so that they may wholly live upon Christ and to Christ, still drawing virtue from Him, seeing a need of Christ and of nothing else, and finding a fullness and help in Him and in nothing else.

    [If our life is to be worthy of the gospel of Christ in this way (as in Phil 1:27), first we need to know what is the gospel that is here spoken of?]

    A Summary of the Gospel

    The gospel of Christ in general is this: It is the good tidings that God has revealed concerning Christ. More largely it is this: As all mankind was lost in Adam and became the children of wrath, put under the sentence of death, God, though He left His fallen angels and has reserved them in the chains of eternal darkness, yet He has thought upon the children of men and has provided a way of atonement to reconcile them to Himself again.

    Namely, the second person of the Trinity takes man's nature upon Himself, and becomes the Head of a second covenant, standing charged with sin. He answers for it by suffering what the law and divine justice required, and by making satisfaction by keeping the law perfectly, which satisfaction and righteousness He tenders up to the Father as a sweet savor of rest for the souls that are given to Him.

    And now this mediation of Christ is, by the appointment of the Father, preached to the children of men, of whatever nation or rank, freely offering this atonement unto sinners for atonement, requiring them to believe in Him and, upon believing, promising not only a discharge of all their former sins, but that they shall not enter into condemnation, that none of their sins or unworthiness shall ever hinder the peace of God with them, but that they shall through Him be received into the number of those who shall have the image of God again to be renewed unto them, and they they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

    Excerpts from Gospel Conversation by Jeremiah Burroughs

    Posted by John on June 18, 2006 07:20 PM


    Jeremiah Burroughs is a great man of God. He really puts some insight into important issues. I've read his book "Gospel Fear" and I found it to be very powerful and convicting.

    I even wrote a blog entry based off of it: Are You A Christian: A Real Christian? (Part II).

    I hope to read the rest of his books.

    God bless,

    Albert Shepherd
    The Aspiring Theologian

    Knight of the Living God: Reformed Theology and Apologetics

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