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Collected Writings of John Murray

(2 posts)

Universal Love

Thursday··2013·04·25
The universal call of the gospel, says Iain Murray, is proof of the universal love of God for all humanity. Universal gospel preaching is proof of the reality of universal divine love. It is the same love of which we read in Ezekiel 33:11: ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?’ When the Pharisees complained of Christ, ‘This man receives sinners, and eats with them,’ Jesus responded by speaking of the character of God: he is like the father of the prodigal son who ‘saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him’ (Luke 15:20). Christ’s unwillingness that men should be lost is the same as the Father’s. He desires that all men everywhere should turn and live. As John Murray has written: There is a love of God which goes forth to lost men and is manifested in the manifold blessings which all men without distinction enjoy, a love in which non-elect persons are embraced, and a love which comes to its highest expression in the entreaties, overtures and demands of gospel proclamation. We conclude that the death of Christ is to be preached to all, and preached in the conviction that there is love for all. ‘In the gospel,’ said an eminent preacher of the Scottish Highlands, ‘the provision of God’s love for the salvation of sinners is revealed and offered . . . Faith is a believing God as speaking to me ‘a receiving of what is said as true, because it is the testimony of God, and receiving it as true in its bearing on my own case as a sinner because it is addressed by God to me.’ Another Scots Calvinistic leader put it still more strongly in the words: ‘Men evangelized cannot go to hell but over the bowels of God’s great mercies. They must wade to it through the blood of Christ.’ —Iain Murray, The Old Evangelicalism (Banner of Truth, 2005), 114–115.

Random Selections: The Focus of Hope (John Murray)

Tuesday··2019·05·07
This random selection (even page, final paragraph) is from The Advent of Christ by John Murray, professor of systematic theology, first at Princeton, and then at Westminster Theological Seminary from 1930–1966. What is the focal point of the Christian hope? What looms highest on the believer’s horizon as he looks to the future? There is but one answer; it is the advent of Christ in glory. This is ‘the blessed hope’, ‘the appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Christ Jesus’ (Tit. 2:13), when he will ‘descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God’ (1 Thess. 4:16; cf. 1 Cor. 15:52). Just as hope itself has suffered eclipse in our day, so has the focus of hope. The scepticism of which Peter warned is so largely ours: ‘Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation’ (2 Peter 3:4). And even believers are too liable to be influenced by current patterns of thought. Let us be alert to the subtlety of unbelief and to Satan’s devices. —The Collected Writings of John Murray (Banner of Truth, 1976), 86–87.

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