Is your reading filled with ‘warmth and light?’ John Newton was self-educated and loved to read both the Bible and other books. Reinke writes, “He was drawn to letters by their heartwarming potential. He admits to having more interest in reading personal letters over books, which often have the opposite effect.”
“I get more warmth and light sometimes by a letter from a plain person who loves the Lord Jesus, though perhaps a servant maid, than from some whole volumes put forth by learned doctors. I speak this not out of disrespect either to doctors or learning; but there is a coldness creeping into the churchues, of which I would warn my friends as earnestly as of a fire that was breaking out next door.”
Reinke assesses these comments with the reflection – “Newton felt the winds of a dangerous gospel winter, and he was concerned that…
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I love Bible knowledge quizzes, Bible trivia, Bible games but I fear that Bible knowledge ‘misses the point.’ Knowing the facts about the Bible, being able to win ‘sword drills’ in record time, having a comprehensive knowledge of the Scripture in and of itself does not produce spiritual change. Winning Bible knowledge contests is no guarantee you understand the truth of God’s word.
In Reinke’s “John Newton on the Christian LIfe,” he gives somes helpful direction. Again, I urge you to pick up this book, or at least dig into some of Newton’s writings (sermons, meditations and hymns) which are free and online.
“Newton explains how four elements inform our approach to the Bible–sincerity, diligence, humility and prayer.
1) Sincerity – Newton writes, “I mean a real desire to be instructed by the Scripture, and to submit both our sentiments and our practices to be controlled and directed by what…
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Common sense tells us not to play with matches. Most of us develop a healthy respect for fire at a young age. You only need to be burned once to learn not to get too close to an open flame. As the old saying goes, if you play with fire, you are going to get burned (cf. Proverbs 6:27).
Needlessly exposing yourself to the occasion of sin (i.e. that circumstance, place, or person which is likely to tempt you to commit sin) is a lot like playing with matches or pouring gasoline on a fire. Nothing good will come of it. Thomas Brooks offers some words of wisdom regarding such things:
“He that adventures upon the occasions of sin is as he that would quench the fire with oil, which is fuel to maintain it, and increase it.” (Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, p.68)
So if you are struggling with a particular…
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