If We have Christ

by Frank Jones

Neither need we fear crosses, or sigh, or be sad for anything that is on this side of heaven, if we have Christ.
— Samuel Rutherford, 1600-1661

Kindness for the Father's Upbringing

by Frank Jones

It is the Lord’s kindness that he will take the scum off us in the fire. Who knows how needful winnowing is to us, and what dross we must want ere we enter into the kingdom of God? So narrow is the entry to heaven, that our knots, our bunches and lumps of pride, and self-love, and idol-love, and world-love must be hammered off us, that we may throng in, stooping low, and creeping through that narrow and thorny entry.
— Samuel Rutherford, 1600-1661

Herein is Power

by Frank Jones

Herein is power;
When Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
he united them in indissoluble unity,
the uncreated and the created.
— (Valley of Vision, 28)

His Goodness, My Good

by Frank Jones

For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good. (Psa 107:9)

To enjoy the goodness of God is a blessed life ....
— Allen Ross, "A Commentary on the Psalms," vol. 1, 753.

Devils Believe & Tremble

by Frank Jones

See to it that you not only assent to the truth, but that you receive the love of the truth: that you are not only persuaded [of the truth], but do embrace [it].
— Edwards, Jonathan. (Vol 25, page 515)

We Believe therefore We Speak

by Frank Jones

When people have affection for God, they talk about him; when they do not, they talk about themselves.
— Martin, Ryan. "Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards," T&T Clark, 182-183.

Taste & See the Lord is Good

by Frank Jones

If the Lord-God raised our Lord Jesus Christ -imputed, the sins of the world; would the Lord-God fail to raise you -imputed, the righteousness of Christ? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Christ Matures Humility in His Children

by Frank Jones

“The gospel leads us to love Christ, as an humble person. Christ is one who is God-man, and so has not only condescension which is a divine perfection, but also humility which is a creature excellence. The gospel holds forth Christ to us as one meek and lowly of heart, as the most perfect and excellent instance of humility that ever was, and one in whom were the greatest testimonies and expressions of humility in his abasement of himself; for he humbled himself and became obedient unto death [Phil. 2:8]. Now the gospel leads us to love Christ as such an humble person, and therefore to love him with such a love as is proper to be exercised towards such an one, which is an humble love. And that the more, because the gospel leads us to love Christ not only as an humble person but a humble Savior, Lord and Head. If our Lord and Head be humble, and we love him as such, certainly it becomes us who are his disciples and servants to be so; for surely it does not become the servant to be prouder or less abased than his Master. Matt. 10:24–25, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.” John 13:13–16, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” Matt. 20:25–27, “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.”” (Jonathan Edwards (WJE 8:247-248))

Divine Love & Humility

by Frank Jones

Seeing therefore it is so, that it is a sense of God’s loveliness which is the thing that works humility, hence we may learn that divine love implies humility. For love is the disposition of the heart, or it is respect towards God as lovely. If the knowledge of God as lovely causes humility, then a respect to God as lovely implies humility. And from this love to God arises a Christian love to men. And it therefore follows that a true love both to God and men implies humility.
— Jonathan Edwards (WJE 8:245)

Writing His Word

by Frank Jones

Writing makes the spoken message permanent
— Shead. "A Mouth Full of Fire: The Word of God in the Words of Jeremiah" (NSBT), 235

Making Disciples by Preaching

by Frank Jones

“Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you.”

“2 Thessalonians 3: 1 is an often-quoted missionary text, and rightly so. This verse provides powerful hope of a dynamic work of God through the ministry of the Word. The phrase “the word of the Lord” is probably best viewed as the Gospel primarily, but it cannot be separated from the rest of God's revealed truth (cf. Acts 20: 27). This is language that reflects the summary statements in Acts of the church’s advance (4: 29, 31; 6: 7; 12: 24; 19: 20). The spread of the gospel is the spread of the Word, whether called “the word of Christ” (Rom. 10: 17), “the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5: 19), or “the word of God” (1 Thess. 2: 13). 

This verse serves as a good reminder that the front line of God's work in this dispensation is the preaching of God's Word. Other activities have their place, but they cannot have first place. God has chosen the “foolishness” of preaching to save the lost. Much of contemporary ministry philosophy seems to have lost its confidence in the effectiveness of God's Word to convert the lost and to conform the saved into the image of Jesus Christ. Any lack of powerful effectiveness is not due to a shortage of power on God’s part or any weakness of the Word. It may, however, be evidence of our lack of faith and our lack of prayer.” (Doran, David M. For the Sake of His Name. Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2018, 108-109)

Church Planting & the Great Commission

by Frank Jones

“Church planting is the necessary context for the two central components of disciple-making—baptizing and teaching. These components communicate a responsibility that clearly goes beyond bringing a person to faith in Christ: publicly identifying with Christ and learning the teachings of Christ. As we noted in examining the task of missions, a person who has not been baptized and who does not hold fast to the apostolic teaching may not be a genuine believer.

So how do I come to the conclusion that these activities must happen in the context of the local church? Consider Acts 2: 41-42:

So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

The threefold pattern of Matthew 28 is here in this text: evangelism (“ received his word”), incorporation into the body of believers (“ were baptized… there were added”), and instruction (“ apostles’ teaching”). The commission clearly entails more than evangelism, if evangelism is strictly defined as leading someone to a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and the opening pages of church history confirm this. Those who professed faith in Christ identified with Him in baptism and brought themselves under His teaching through the Apostles.

In fact, the apostle Paul, writing to the believers at Ephesus, makes clear that the Lord’s plan for the time until He returns involves the “official” function of pastor-teachers “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4: 12). The Lord Jesus has provided gifted men to lead the church in fulfilling the Great Commission responsibility of “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.”

The local church is the God-ordained means for the baptizing and instructing of those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ. Without the formation of local assemblies, the commission cannot be fulfilled. When we accept Christ, we are brought into union with Him and placed into His body, the church. Though the “church” is the mystical, universal Body of Christ, the responsibilities of baptizing and teaching belong to the local church as visible expression of that Body. Thus church planting must be the target of missions.” (Doran, David M. For the Sake of His Name. Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2018, 62-63)