The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 1 Corinthians 2:15
Since Christ Jesus is the great prophet and teacher of the church. We may, therefore, discern and judge our doctrines by his standard. Christ may serve as a measurement to test them. As Christ is in his person, so are his doctrines. Every error pretends to come from Christ, but Christ was holy, humble, heavenly, meek, and peaceful, yea, he is contrary to the wisdom of the world and all the gratifications of the flesh. Thus, so are the truths he teaches – they have his character and image engraved upon them. Would you like to test whether this or that doctrine is from the Spirit of Christ or not? Examine it by this rule: whatever doctrine you find to encourage and countenance sin, to exalt self, to be accommodating to the world’s designs, and that bends to the humours and lusts of men, you may safely reject. Whatever doctrine makes those who profess it to be carnal, proud, and sensual, you may safely conclude never came from Jesus Christ. The doctrines of Christ lead to godliness; his truth sanctifies. Do not swallow anything, even if it comes ever so dearly, that does not have some relish of Christ and holiness in it. Be sure, Christ never revealed anything that detracts from his glory, or obstructs the purpose of his own death. You can also judge who are sent by Christ to declare his will. They have his Spirit in their hearts, and his words in their mouths. According to the measure of grace received, they endeavoured to fulfill their ministry for Christ (John 20:21). Ministers should seek to imitate the Great Shepherd. Under-shepherds should be faithful, tender-hearted, hard workers, delighting in the kingdom’s prosperity, living consistently with their profession, and maintaining a sweet, secret communion with God. Those that imitate Christ in these things are surely sent from him to be a choice blessing to his people.
Over the past fifty years there has been a great resurgence of interest in the writings of the Puritans. The reading of their works has brought great benefit to the people of God in many lands. Christians from many different backgrounds and cultures owe a great debt of gratitude to those faithful pastors and preachers who continue to speak through their writings even though they have long since entered into their heavenly reward. The Puritans really knew how to teach and apply God’s Word in the Spirit’s power!
Richard Rushing has compiled this book of daily devotional readings from his favorite Puritan authors because of the great help he has gained from their works. “How thrilling it has been for me to read the Puritans on the glory and attributes of God, divine providence, fellowship with God, holiness of life and the mortification of indwelling sin, heavenly mindedness, prayer, evangelistic zeal, and trust in the Lord during times of affliction. At every turn these truths are eloquently taught, faithfully applied, and kindly offered as the subject of sweet spiritual meditation.”
This book is sent forth with the prayer that it will open a door to the vast stores of treasure to be found in the writings of the Puritans and that it will stimulate further exploration of this rich spiritual inheritance.