Before we start
It’s all about Jesus and the glory of God…….not me, nor you.
In the beginning……….
I started this blog during my final year at University in 2007/2008 as I became aware of the massive potential the internet now offers to proclaim the gospel to every corner of God’s green earth. During this period of my life my theological convictions began to deepen as my soul was awoken to the sovereignty of God in salvation. For 3 years I had believed that I chose God. I believed I made the decision to follow him and to label myself a Christian. However, I soon began to see just how mistaken I was in holding to this belief. The more time I gave to serious study of the Bible, the more I began to be convicted that it was in fact God who does the saving from beginning to end. Gradually, God led me to discover the doctrines of grace, more infamously known by many as “Calvinism” (although John Calvin himself would cringe at such a label, as do I). Alongside this I developed a voracious appetite for reading and study as I attempted to think hard and clear about the Christian faith and the world around me. As I surveyed the broad spectrum of evangelical Christianity I began to feel a deep conviction that so much of it appeared to be desperately shallow. 10 miles wide, half an inch deep. Cheap grace seemed to be believed and offered by so many and a knowledge of the holiness and sovereignty of God seemed worryingly absent. So many possess Bibles yet know little of its contents. I found myself constantly asking why? Why are things this way?
Men of Inspiration and Digging Deeper
Resultingly I began to feel that the church in the west desperately needed a new reformation; a reformation back to the Bible, back to the sovereignty of God and supremacy of Christ in all things. The teachings of John Piper, John Macarthur, R.C. Sproul, Michael Horton, Mark Driscoll, Don Carson, Wayne Grudem and Mark Dever began to strike a chord with me and without doubt these men were, and continue to be, my spiritual guides alongside the Bible. From these men I was led to the teachings of men like Augustine, John Calvin (I soon realised I had believed in ‘Calvinism’, if we are giving out labels, before I even knew who John Calvin was) Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, the Puritans, C.H Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle, A.W Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Jerry Bridges and Paul Washer. These are all big and famous names in the Christian scene, past and present. However, I am also greatly indebted to a few ‘ordinary’ pastors. The first is a man named David Johnston, the minister of my home church Hamilton Road Presbyterian in Bangor, Northern Ireland. It was under his preaching that my soul was first awoken to my need for Jesus as my saviour. A second man I am indebted to is Daf Merion-Jones, Vicar of All Saints church in Preston, England. This man faithfully mentored me one-2-one during a time when I was confused and hurting. His patience with me and faithful exposition of the Bible always led me to Christ. His simple, repetitive advice to me was “Go to Jesus, Look to Jesus”. So as much as I am thankful to the big-hitters I am also thankful for those two men. It soon became apparent to me that all these men had one thing in common….they had a high view of God’s holiness, the authority, infallibility and authority of the Bible and finally, in the grace of God given to the world in the life and work of the God-man Jesus Christ. The gospel had become truly glorious to me. Like a young lovestruck teenager who incessantly declares his undying affections for his first love, I wanted to shout about these things from the rooftops.
Summary of Beliefs;
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into the grave. The third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic [i.e., universal] church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
- I believe the Bible, in its original manuscripts, to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. (Basically that God gave us the Bible without mistakes)
- I believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (God is a trinity….3 yet 1)
- I believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, in his virgin birth, in his sinless life, in his miracles, in his vicarious and atoning death through his shed blood, in his bodily resurrection, in his ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in his personal return in power and glory- in other words Jesus is God and Saviour.
- I believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.- that is they must be born-again by a work of God. (It’s not enough to just say ‘I Believe’….we have to actually have been born again by God)
- I believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
- I believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
- I believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that you will be both encouraged and challenged and hope that you will return again sometime soon!
Grant (Reformed Pilgrim)
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