Hypocrisy, Grace, and Forgiveness (Newton)

While studying various writings on hypocrisy today I came across this excellent letter John Newton wrote to his wife in 1757. In the letter Newton discussed hypocrisy in a very tender way. This was comforting to me; perhaps it will be a blessing to you as well. If you are really afraid of being an …

Believe Christ, Not Satan (Sibbes)

Around the middle part of his excellent book, The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes (d. 1635) explained the great truth of how Christ is merciful and patient with us in our weakness and stumbling. Sibbes noted well that Christ has a "gracious disposition" towards those who are weak, weary, and heavily burdened (Mt. 11:28). Jesus said …

Touched by God’s Mercy (Futato)

I've found Mark Futato's commentary on the Psalms in the Cornerstone Biblical Commentary to be an insightful and concise reference for studying the Psalter. For example, this week I was studying the last few verses of Psalm 116. I was specifically studying the Psalmist's response to God's saving mercy in his life in answer to …

God’s Mercy, God’s Judgment (Augustine)

This morning I found a wonderful exposition about God's mercy and judgment based on Psalm 33:5. In these comments, the North African theologian Augustine (d. 430) was reflecting on the truth that God is just and merciful at the same time. (Note: Augustine was using the Septuagint/Vulgate so the wording and chapter/verse numbers are different …

Shameful Acts Contrary to Nature (Augustine)

A few chapters into his Confessions, Augustine wrestled with ethics, truth, justice, law, and so on. In this section Augustine wrote that God is supreme over all and must be "unhesitatingly obeyed" because he's the "governor of all his creation" (p. 46). Right before these statements he wrote this on sexual sin: Can it be …

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