“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1
Notions of justification without faith (as with the Antinomians) cast loose the covenant, “I will be your God.” But here there is a condition—God is not bound and we free; therefore, this is the other part, “and ye shall be my people.” Now, it is taught by libertines, that there can be no closing with Christ, in a promise that has a qualification or condition expressed; and that conditional promises are legal. It is true, if the word “condition” be taken in a wrong sense, the promises are not conditional. For, Arminians take a condition for a free act, which we absolutely may perform or not perform by free will, not acted by the pre-determinating grace of Christ; so jurists take the word: but this makes men lords of heaven and hell, and puts the keys of life and death over to absolute contingency. Conditions have a Popish sense, for doing that which, by some merit, moves God to give to men wages for work, and so, promises are not conditional: but libertines deny all conditions. But taking condition, for any qualification wrought in us by the power of the saving grace of God; Christ promises soul-ease, but upon a condition, which His grace works, that the soul be sin-sick for Christ; and He offers “wine and milk” (Isa. 55:1); “And the water of life freely,” (Rev. 22:17) upon condition that you buy without money: no purse is Christ’s grace-market, no hire and sense of wretchedness is a hire for Christ.
About Samuel Rutherford:
Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) was a Church of Scotland minister, theologian, controversialist, devotional writer, and political theorist. He was one of the Scottish commissioners to the Westminster Assembly, and was a prominent defender of mainstream orthodoxy. He was active in the Presbyterian and Covenanter cause. Rutherford’s posthumous reputation rests chiefly on his Letters, which were first published in Holland in 1664, and quickly became a classic of evangelical Protestant piety. Both Richard Baxter and Charles Spurgeon praised the Letters, and they were republished no fewer than eighty times in English. This month’s readings are from Rutherford’s Trial and Triumph of Faith (1645), a collection of sermons on the healing of the Canaan woman’s daughter (Matt. 15:21-28).
*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).
Where to Buy:
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