Baptist Covenant Theology

Reformed theology is often referred to as covenant theology – based on the covenants between God and Baptist Covenant Viewman revealed in Scripture and the view that God deals with us primarily through covenants. One of our old Baptist brothers, C. H. Spurgeon, had this to say about the importance of understanding the covenants of Scripture: “The doctrine of the covenant lies at the root of all true theology. … I am persuaded that most of the mistakes which men make concerning the doctrines of Scripture are based upon fundamental errors with regard to the covenants of law and grace.” He went on to say: “The covenant of works was, “Do this and live, O man!” but the covenant of grace is, “Do this, O Christ, and thou shalt live, O man!”” As we will see, the differences we have with our Presbyterian brothers has to do with these two covenants. Pascal Denault, in The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology describes them thusly: The Covenant of Works is revealed by the light of nature; nature’s light teaches self-righteousness (Rom 2:15). The Covenant of Grace is revealed by the Spirit of God; He reveals Christ’s righteousness.

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Quotes (927)

It is not your hold on Christ that saves you; it is Christ. It is not your joy in Christ that saves you; it is Christ. It is not even your faith in Christ, though that be the instrument; it is Christ’s blood and merit.

– Charles Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

Quotes (885)

The world does not object to your being a Christian for a time, if she can but tempt you to cease your pilgrimage and settle down to buy and sell with her in Vanity Fair. The flesh will seek to ensnare you, and to prevent your pressing on to glory. “It is weary work being a pilgrim; come, give it up. Am I always to be mortified? Am I never to be indulged? Give me at least a furlough from this constant warfare.” Satan will make many a fierce attack on your perseverance; it will be the mark for all his arrows. He will strive to hinder you in service: he will insinuate that you are doing no good; and that you want rest. He will endeavor to make you weary of suffering, he will whisper, “Curse God, and die.” Or he will attack your steadfastness: “What is the good of being so zealous? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as do others, and let your lamp go out as the other virgins do.” Or he will assail your doctrinal sentiments: “Why do you hold to these denominational creeds? Sensible men are getting more liberal; they are removing the old landmarks: fall in with the times.” Wear your shield, Christian, therefore, close upon your armor, and cry mightily unto God, that by his Spirit you may endure to the end.

– C. H. Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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The ladder is long enough to reach from Jacob prostrate on the earth to Jehovah reigning in heaven. To bring another ladder would be to suppose that He failed to bridge the distance, which would grievously dishonor Him. If to add to His words is to draw a curse upon ourselves, what must it be to pretend to add to Himself? Remember that He Himself is the Way. To suppose that we must, in some manner, add to the divine road is to be arrogant enough to think of adding to Him. Away with such a notion! Loathe it as you would blasphemy, for in essence it is the worst of blasphemy against the Lord of love.

– C. H. Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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To come to Jesus with a price in our hand would be insufferable pride, even if we had any price that we could bring. What does He need from us? What could we bring if He did need it? Would He sell the priceless blessings of His redemption? That which He wrought out in His heart’s blood, would He barter it with us for our tears and vows, or for ceremonial observances, feelings, and works? He is not reduced to making a market of Himself. He will give freely, as befitting His royal love. The person who offers a price to Him knows not with Whom he is dealing, nor how grievously he vexes His free spirit.

– C. H. Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

Quotes (837)

The knowledge of God is the great hope of sinners. Oh, if you knew him better, you would fly to him! If you understood how gracious he is, you would seek him. If you could have any idea of his holiness, you would loathe your self-righteousness. If you knew anything of his power, you would not venture to contend with him. If you knew anything of his grace, you would not hesitate to yield yourself to him.

– C. H. Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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Jesus said, “Preach the gospel to every creature.” But men are getting tired of the divine plan; they are going to be saved by the priest, going to be saved by the music, going to be saved by theatricals, and nobody knows what! Well, they may try these things as long as ever they like; but nothing can ever come of the whole thing but utter disappointment and confusion, God dishonored, the gospel travestied, hypocrites manufactured by thousands, and the church dragged down to the level of the world. Stand to your guns, brethren, and go on preaching and teaching nothing but the Word of God, for it pleases God still, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe; and this text still stands true, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

– C. H. Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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I know very many decent people who seem to have resolved never to come to Christ until they can understand how the doctrine of election is consistent with the free invitation of the Gospel. I might just as well determine never to eat a morsel of bread until it has been explained to me how it is that God keeps me alive, and yet I must eat to live.

– Charles Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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http://easterpeople.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/im-a-charismatic-baptist-reformed-calvinist/

I am told that, years ago above the Falls of Niagra, a boat was upset, and two men were being carried down by the current. Persons on the shore managed to float a rope out to the men, who both seized the rope. One of them held fast to it and was safely drawn to the bank. But the other, seeing a great log come floating by, unwisely let go of the rope and clung to the great piece of timber, for it was the bigger thing of the two and apparently better to cling to. Alas, the timber with the man on it went right over the vast abyss, because there was no union between the wood and the shore. The size of the log was no benefit to him who grasped it. It needed a connection with the shore to produce safety. So, when a man trusts his works, his prayers, alms giving, sacraments, or anything of the sort, he will not be saved, because there is no connection between him and God through Christ Jesus. But faith, though it may seem to be a slender cord, is in the hand of the great God on the shore.

– Charles Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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The thick pollutions of thine abominable [Roman Catholic] church forbid the idea of descent from any apostle but the traitor Judas.

– Charles Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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charles-spurgeon Oh! had I words that I might this morning attempt to depict to you what eternal death is. The soul has come before its Maker; the book has been opened; the sentence has been uttered; “Depart ye cursed” has shaken the universe, and made the very spheres dim with the frown of the Creator; the soul has departed to the depths where it is to dwell with others in eternal death. Oh! how horrible is its position now. Its bed is a bed of flame; the sights it sees are murdering ones that affright its spirit;. the sounds it hears are shrieks, and wails, and moans, and groans; all that its body knows is the infliction of miserable pain! It has the possession of unutterable woe, of unmitigated misery. The soul looks up. Hope is extinct—it is gone. It looks downward in dread and fear; remorse hath possessed its soul. It looks on the right hand—and the adamantine walls of fate keep it within its limits of torture. It looks on the left—and there the rampart of blazing fire forbids the scaling ladder of e’en a dreamy speculation of escape. It looks within and seeks for consolation there, but a gnawing worm hath entered into the soul. It looks about it—it has no friends to aid, no comforters, but tormentors in abundance. It knoweth nought of hope of deliverance; it hath heard the everlasting key of destiny turning in its awful wards, and it hath seen God take that key and hurl it down into the depth of eternity never to be found again. It hopeth not; it knoweth no escape; it guesseth not of deliverance; it pants for death, but death is too much its foe to be there; it longs that non-existence would swallow it up, but this eternal death is worse than annihilation. It pants for extermination as the laborer for his Sabbath; it longs that it might be swallowed up in nothingness just as would the galley slave long for freedom, but it cometh not—it is eternally dead. When eternity shall have rolled round multitudes of its everlasting cycles it shall still be dead. Forever knoweth no end; eternity cannot be spelled except in eternity. Still the soul seeth written o’er its head, “Thou art damned forever.” It heareth howlings that are to be perpetual; it seeth flames which are unquenchable; it knoweth pains that are unmitigated; it hears a sentence that rolls not like the thunder of earth which soon is hushed—but onward, onward, onward, shaking the echoes of eternity—making thousands of years shake again with the horrid thunder of its dreadful sound—”Depart! depart! depart! ye cursed!” This is the eternal death.

– C.H. Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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It may seem a harsh sentiment; but he who in his soul believes that man does of his own free-will turn to God, cannot have been taught of God, for that is one of the first principles taught us when God begins with us, that we have neither will nor power, but that He gives both; that He is “Alpha and Omega” in the salvation of men.

– C.H. Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

Quotes (740)

A false faith can only float in smooth water, but true faith, like a life-boat, is at home in storms. If our religion does not bear us up in time of trial, what is the use of it? If we cannot believe God when our circumstances appear to be against us, we do not believe Him at all. We trust a thief as far as we can see him, shall we dare to treat our God in that fashion?

– Charles Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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The most excellent study for expanding the soul is the science of Christ and Him crucified and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity.

– Charles Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

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But the man Christ can be but in one place, and he is now at the right hand of the Majesty on high. It is absurd, it is horrible, both to faith and to reason, to say that Christ’s body is eaten, and that his blood is drunk in tens of thousands of places wherever priests choose to offer what they call “the mass.” A “Mass” of profanity, indeed, it is!

– Charles Spurgeon

1834 – 1892