Sermon Importance of Scripture
The Importance of Scripture
Three observations naturally arise from these words: that there are some things in which all real converts have been instructed; that the certain knowledge of these things may yet be wanting, and is to be obtained; and that this certainty of knowledge is very desirable.
1. Observe that there are some things in which all real converts are instructed by reading, meditation, the teachings of men, but especially by the Spirit of God; and they are such things as these:
1. The nature of God, and his infinite and adorable perfections; his excellent majesty, inflexible justice, unspotted purity, boundless mercy, inviolable faithfulness, and truth; what he is in himself, and what he is to his people.
2. The original corruption and depravity of mankind.
3. The vanity of all sublunary objects, and their utter insufficiency to satisfy the cravings of an immortal, or yield relief to a distressed, soul.
4. The extent and spirituality of the Divine law, and consequently the utter impossibility of obtaining salvation by the works of it.
5. That there is salvation in no other but the Lord Jesus Christ, and that it is to be obtained fully and freely through him ; that his blood has procured the remission of sin; that his grace frees from the power and pollution of it, and that his righteousness is the foundation of their acceptance with God. That by his obedience and sufferings justice is satisfied, the law fulfilled, the greatest honour accrues to God, and the greatest joy and happiness to man.
6. That faith is absolutely necessary to a comfortable sense of interest in Christ, and good works the genuine evidence of it.
2. Observe where persons have been instructed in the foregoing things, yet a certainty of knowledge with respect to them may be wanting, and is to be obtained; for the illustration of which we may observe
1. This is not a natural, but a divine, attainment; as knowledge itself, so a certainty of knowledge is from God.
2. This is not an instantaneous, but gradual work.
3. This certainty of knowledge will not be so perfect as to admit of no increase till the saints get
3. Observe this certainty of knowledge is very desirable, and that on the following accounts:
1. Hereby our minds will be freed from doubtfulness, distraction, and many perplexing inquiries ; we shall no longer be like children, carried about with every new notion, or, as the Apostle expresses it, " ever learning, and yet never coming to the knowledge of the truth." This will be an antidote against disquietude and uneasiness, and a great deal of unnecessary trouble will be hereby prevented.
2. This will prevent our being imposed upon by the arts and intrigues of crafty and designing men; we shall stand unmoved, like rocks in the midst of the foaming waves, resisting all their force and impetuosity ...
3. Certainty of knowledge tends to the improvement of our graces, the increase of our comfort, and our growing fruitfulness. The more knowledge the more holiness.
4. Lastly, hereby we shall be emboldened to plead, and, if called thereto, to suffer for the truth.
It was a noble saying of Dr. Taylor, when promised his life if he would renounce his wife: " That it is lawful for priests to marry," said he, " I know is not a fundamental truth: but because I know it is the truth of God, rather than part with any truth I will part with my life." Let all, then, be excited to seek after this certainty of knowledge; you see how desirable it is, let it be the object of your pursuit; pray for it; use the means to obtain it; and be not contented until you acquire it. ...