Puritan Sermon Quotes – The Necessity of Scripture

Posted: Friday, February 7, 2014 in Puritans, Sermons

“It is well-known that Puritans were lovers of the Word of God. They were not content with the bare affirmation of the infallibility, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture. They read, searched, sang, and heard the Word with delight, always seeking for and relishing the applying power of the Holy Spirit accompanying the Word. They regarded the sixty-six books of Holy Scripture as the library of the Holy Spirit graciously given to them. For the Puritan, Scripture is God speaking to us, as a father speaks to his children. In Scripture God gives us His Word as both a word of truth and a word of power. As a word of truth, we can trust in and rest our all upon Scripture for time and eternity. As a word of power, we can look to Scripture as the source of transformation used by the Spirit of God to renew our minds.” – Joel Beeke

“The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying.” – John Flavel

“Men sin not only when they neglect to read the Scriptures, but also “… in reading amisse: therefore the properties of reverent and faithfull reading are to bee set downe, which are these that follow”: (1) Diligence, (2) Wisdom, (3) Preparation, (4) Meditation, (5) Conference, (6) Faith, (7) Practice, (8) Prayer. Numbers one through three ought to precede reading; numbers four through seven ought to follow reading; number eight must precede, accompany, and follow reading.” – Richard Greenham

“We should set the Word of God alway before us like a rule, and believe nothing but that which it teacheth, love nothing but that which it prescribeth, hate nothing but that which it forbiddeth, do nothing but that which it commandeth.”-  Henry Smith

And this from Thomas Watson:

1) When you come to God’s house to hear His Word, do not forget to also prepare your soul
with prayer.

2) Come with a holy appetite for the Word (1 Peter 2:2). A good appetite promotes good digestion.

3) Come with a tender, teachable heart (2 Chron. 13:7), asking, “What shall I do, Lord? (Acts 22:10). It is foolish to expect a blessing if you come with a hardened, worldly minded heart.

4) Be attentive to the Word preached. In Luke 19:48, we are told that the people “were very attentive” to Christ. Literally translated, the text says, “they hung upon him, hearing.” Lydia evidenced a heart opened by the Lord when she “attended” or “turned her mind” to the things spoken by Paul (Acts 16:14). Such attentiveness also involves banishing wandering thoughts, dullness of mind, and drowsiness (Matt. 13:25). Regard the sermon as it truly is—a matter of life and death (Deut. 32:47).

5) “Receive with meekness the engrafted word” (James 1:21). Meekness involves a
submissive frame of heart—“a willingness to hear the counsels and reproofs of the word.” Through meekness the Word gets “engrafted” into the soul and produces “the sweet fruit of righteousness.”

6) Mingle the preached Word with faith: “The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith” (Heb. 4:2). If the chief ingredient of a medicine is missing, the medicine will not be effective; so be sure not to leave out the chief ingredient, faith, as you listen to a sermon. Believe and apply the Word. Apply Christ when He is preached (Rom. 13:14); apply the promises as they are spoken.

7) Strive to retain and pray over what you have heard. Don’t let the sermon run through your mind like water through a sieve (Heb. 2:1). “Our memories should be like the chest of the ark, where the law was put.” As another well-known Puritan, Joseph Alleine, advised, “Come from your knees to the sermon, and come from the sermon to your knees.”

8) Practice what you have heard. “Live out” the sermons you hear. Hearing that does not reform your life will never save your soul. Doers of the Word are the best hearers. Of what value is a mind filled with knowledge when not matched with a fruitful life?

9) Beg of God to accompany His Word with the effectual blessing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44). Without the Spirit, the medicine of the Word may be swallowed, but it will not result in healing.

10) Familiarize yourself with what you have heard. When you come home, speak to your
loved ones about the sermon in an edifying manner: “My tongue shall speak of thy word” (Ps. 119:172). Remember each sermon as if it will be the last you ever hear, for that may well be the case.


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