Category Archives: Christian works

Thanksgiving and Prayer

by Charles H. Spurgeon

 

“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” — Psalm 65:11

All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake, his mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave off shining, but our God will never cease to cheer his children with his love. Like a river his lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fullness inexhaustible as his own nature, which is its source. Like the atmosphere which always surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all his creatures; in it, as in their element they live, and move, and have their being. Yet as the sun on summer days appears to gladden us with beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers are at certain seasons swollen with the rain, and as the atmosphere itself on occasions is fraught with more fresh, more bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with the mercy of God: it hath its golden hours, its days of overflow, when the Lord magnifieth his grace and lifteth high his love before the sons of men. Continue reading

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What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ? (part 3)

[Part 1] [Part 2]

Then we come to the strangest story of all, the story of the Resurrection. It is very necessary to get the story clear. I heard a man say, ‘The importance of the Resurrection is that is gives evidence of survival, evidence that the human personality survives death.’ On that view what happened to Christ would be what had always happened to all men, the difference being that in Christ’s case we were privileged to see it happening. This is certainly not what the earliest Christian writers thought. Something perfectly new in the history of the universe had happened. Christ had defeated death. The door, which had always been locked, had for the very first time been forced open. This is something quite distinct from mere ghost-survival. I don’t mean that they disbelieved in ghost-survival. I don’t mean that they disbelieved in ghost-survival. On the contrary, they believed in it so firmly that, on more than one occasion, Christ had had to assure them that He was not a ghost. The point is that while believing in survival they yet regarded the Resurrection as something totally different and new. The Resurrection narratives are not a picture of survival after death; they record how a totally new mode of being has arisen in the universe. Something new had appeared in the universe: as new as the first coming of organic life. This Man, after death, does not get divided into ‘ghost’ and ‘corpse’. A new mode of being has arisen. That is the story. What are we going to make of it?

 The question is, I suppose, whether any hypothesis covers the facts so well as the Christian hypothesis. That hypothesis is that God has come down into the created universe, down to manhood — and come up again, pulling it up with Him. The alternative hypothesis is not legend, nor exaggeration, nor the apparitions of a ghost. It is either lunacy or lies. Unless one can take the second alternative (and I can’t) one turns to the Christian theory.

‘What are we to make of Christ?’ There is no question of what we can make of Him; it is entirely a question of what He intends to make of us. You must accept or reject the story.

The things he says are very different from what any other teacher has said. Others say, ‘This is the truth about the universe. This is the way you ought to go,’ but He says, ‘I am the Truth, and the Way, and the Life.’ He says, ‘No man can reach absolute reality, except through Me. Try to retain your own life and you will be inevitably ruined. Give yourself away and you will be saved.; He says, ‘If you are ashamed of Me, if, when you hear this call, you turn the other way, I also will look the other way when I come again as God without disguise. If anything whatever is keeping you from God and from me, whatever it is, throw it away. If it is your eye, pull it out. If it is your hand, cut it off. If you put yourself first you will be last. Come to Me everyone who is carrying a heavy load, I will set that right. Your sins, all of them, are wiped out, I can do that. I am Re-birth, I am Life. Eat Me, drink Me, I am your Food. And finally, do not be afraid, I have overcome the whole Universe.’ That is the issue.

– from “God in the Dock” by C. S. Lewis (part 3 of 3)

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What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ? (part 2)

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Well, that is the other side. On the one side clear, definite moral teaching. On the other, claims which, if not true, are those of a megalomaniac, compared with whom Hitler was the most same and humble of men. There is no halfway house and there is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and asked him: ‘Are you the son of Brahma?’ he would have said, ‘My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.’ If you had gone to Socrates and asked, ‘Are you Zeus?’ he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked, ‘Are you Allah?’ he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, ‘Are you Heaven?’ I think he would have probably replied, ‘Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.’ The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion, which undermines the whole mind of man. If you think you are a poached egg, when you are not looking for a piece of toast to suit you you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you. We may note in passing that He was never regarded as a mere moral teacher. He did not produce that effect on any of the people who actually met him. He produced mainly three effects — Hatred — Terror — Adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild approval.

What are we to do about reconciling the two contradictory phenomena? Continue reading

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What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?

“Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with the tremendous difference that it really happened.” — C. S. Lewis

‘What are we to make of Jesus Christ?’ This is a question, which has, in a sense, a frantically comic side. For the real question is not what are we to make of Christ, but what is He to make of us? The picture of a fly sitting deciding what it is going to make of an elephant has comic elements about it. But perhaps the questioner meant what are we to make of Him in the sense of ‘How are we to solve the historical problem set us by the recorded sayings and acts of this Man?’ This problem is to reconcile two things. On the one hand you have got the almost generally admitted depth and sanity of His moral teaching, which is not very seriously questioned, even by those who are opposed to Christianity. In fact, I find when I am arguing with very anti-God people that they rather make a point of saying, ‘I am entirely in favour of the moral teaching of Christianity’ — and there seems to be a general agreement that in the teaching of this Man and of His immediate followers, moral truth is exhibited at its purest and best. It is not sloppy idealism; it is full of wisdom and shrewdness. The whole thing is realistic, fresh to the highest degree, the product of a sane mind. That is one phenomenon. Continue reading

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Albert Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament

We are happy to announce for Christmas the release of Notes on the New Testament by Albert Barnes for the Kindle.

The best-selling Notes on the New Testament were written over a number of years in 11 volumes by the 19th century American theologian Albert Barnes. They contain evangalical verse-by-verse explanation of the Bible using the King James translation. Charles Spurgeon said of this commentary, “No minister can afford to be without it.”

This OSNOVA Kindle edition contains complete and unabridged text of the Notes in one electronic publication, which is made easy to navigate via a Direct Verse Jump (DVJ) method, an active table of contents, and a cross-reference system between the Notes and the included Bible.

The DVJ works both for the Bible and the Notes, making it easy to open any Bible verse or Notes passage. There are also other navigational aids, described in detail at the beginning of the book. We highly recommend that you take time to read the instructions on how to use this excellent study tool effectively before you dig into the book!

DISCLAIMER: Not all features of this publications are supported on Kindle applications (e.g., Kindle for iPhone, iPad, or PC) or some Kindle models (e.g. original Kindle Fire). This is a limitation imposed by software developed by Amazon and is out of our control.

If you have any questions or concern please email us first at osnova@gmail.com. We want to provide the best service and receive five-star reviews from you!  Please leave positive reviews!

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Diamonds sparkle most amid the darkness…

“Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord.” (Psalm 130:1)

This is the Psalmist’s statement and plea: he had never ceased to pray even when brought into the lowest state. The depths usually silence all they engulf, but they could not close the mouth of this servant of the Lord; on the contrary, it was in the abyss itself that he cried unto Jehovah. Beneath the floods prayer lived and struggled; yea, above the roar of the billions rose the cry of faith. It little matters where we are if we can pray; but prayer is never more real and acceptable than when it rises out of the worst places. Deep places beget deep devotion. Depths of earnestness are stirred by depths of tribulation. Diamonds sparkle most amid the darkness. Prayer de profundis gives to God gloria in excelsis. The more distressed we are, the more excellent is the faith which trusts bravely in the Lord, and therefore appeals to him, and to him alone.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of David

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End-of-week special from OSNOVA: Spurgeon’s New Park Street Pulpit

Charles  Haddon  Spurgeon was an outstanding person. Apart from the biblical authors, he is a history’s most widely read preacher. Here are just a few amazing facts about the Prince of Preachers:

  • One woman was converted through reading a single page of one of Spurgeon’s sermons wrapped around some butter she had bought.
  • The New Park Street Pulpit and The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit—the collected sermons of Spurgeon during his ministry with that congregation—fill 63 volumes. The sermons’ 20-25 million words are equivalent to the 27 volumes of the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The series stands as the largest set of books by a single author in the history of Christianity.
  • Before he was 20, Spurgeon had preached over 600 times.
  • When Spurgeon arrived at The New Park Street Church, in 1854, the congregation had 232 members. By the end of his pastorate, 38 years later, that number had increased to 5,311. The church was the largest independent congregation in the world.
  • In 1865, Spurgeon’s sermons sold 25,000 copies every week. They were translated into more than 20 languages.
  • During his lifetime, Spurgeon is estimated to have preached to 10,000,000 people.
  • Spurgeon spent 20 years studying the Book of Psalms and writing his commentary on them, The Treasury of David.
  • By accepting some of his many invitations to speak, Spurgeon often preached 10 times in a week.

These and other interesting facts about Charles Spurgeon are found on The Spurgeon Archive.

Today we are excited to offer a 40% discount on OSNOVA’s Kindle edition of The New Park Street Pulpit, the collection of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons. The offer is valid till Monday, April 30, 2012.

 

Get your own copy on Amazon.com and start building the Spurgeon library on your Kindle!

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Bible Commentaries For Better Knowledge of the Scriptures

Bible Commentaries are a great tool in studying the Bible. It is not, by any means, a substitute to the reading of the Bible itself, and prayerful digesting and applying it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And yet the commentaries can prove to be faithful companions in getting a better knowledge of the Scriptures.

“In order to be able to expound the Scriptures, and as an aid to your pulpit studies, you will need to be familiar with the commentators: a glorious army, let me tell you, whose acquaintance will be your delight and profit.
…It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others. … A respectable acquaintance with the opinions of the giants of the past, might have saved many an erratic thinker from wild interpretations and outrageous inferences.”

~ C. H. Spurgeon, “On Commenting and Commentaries”

On his blog HeadHeartHand, David Murray offers 20 Tips on How to Use Bible Commentaries, which we found very informative and useful. Here are several of those tips:

  • Use them to help you understand grammar and syntax;
  • Use them to confirm or correct your pericope and translation;
  • Use them to highlight unasked questions (and help find answers to such);
  • Use them to find other passages that are related to this one.

Here is our recommendation for Bible Commentaries for Kindle:

The Treasury of David: Commentary on the Psalms by Charles Spurgeon

This book is a magnum opus of an outstanding Christian author and preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who spent many years working on this unparalleled commentary on the Book of Psalms, giving his personal exposition on each verse, enriching it with extracts and quotes from hundreds of Bible commentators of his time as well as the great Puritan expositors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible

Matthew Henry’s six-volume ‘Exposition of the Old and New Testament’ has long been celebrated as the best of English commentaries of the Bible for devotional purposes. It provides an exhaustive verse by verse study of the Bible, covering the whole of the Old Testament and the New Testament, dealing with the Scripture text as presented.

Charles Spurgeon wrote about this commentary, “Every minister ought to read it entirely and carefully through once at least.”

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s Commentary of the Whole Bible

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown’s Commentary of the Bible remains the preeminent evangelical expository commentary of the Scriptures. It provides verse-by-verse exposition of most Bible passages in insightful, accurate, succinct, and easy to understand articles.

Charles Spurgeon highly praised the JFB Commentary: “It contains so great a variety of information that if a man has no other exposition he would find himself at no great loss if he possessed and used it diligently.”

Exposition of the Old and New Testaments by John Gill

Gill’s Bible Commentary is among the very first verse-by-verse commentaries of the Bible, written by the 18th century theologian and Biblical scholar John Gill. The commentary contains priceless gems of information that are found nowhere except in the ancient writings of the Jews.

John Gill’s works were among Spurgeon’s personal favorites. He wrote about Gill: “In some respects, he has no superior. He is always worth consulting.”

There are a couple of other Bible commentaries that we found useful:

– Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
The MacArthur Bible Commentary

Along with Bible commentaries, we also recommend using the International Standard  Bible Encyclopedia.

 

Do you use Bible commentaries for your Bible studies?

What are your favorite commentaries, either paper copy or electronic?

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Spurgeon: The New Park Street Pulpit

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, began his pastorate at London’s New Park Street Church in 1854 at the age of twenty. Following in the non-conformist tradition, he quickly became one of Britain’s most popular preachers. Both his audiences and his written works were voluminous: he often preached (outdoors without amplification) to crowds exceeding 10,000, and the sheer number of his written sermons is staggering. A strong emphasis in Spurgeon’s preaching was God’s grace and sovereignty over man’s helpless state.

Part of the OSNOVA Spurgeon Library, The New Park Street Pulpit is a complete set of six volumes containing 347 sermons from the Prince of Preachers published between 1855 and 1860. Now all six volumes are available in one compact and convenient digital book, masterfully formatted by OSNOVA. An active table of content, a cross-reference system between the sermons and the included Bible make this Kindle edition easy to navigate and a pleasure to read.

We are glad to announce that the Kindle edition of the New Park Street Pulpit is now live on Amazon.com! So get your copy now, and share the news with your friends, too.

We do also ask you to consider leaving a review for this excellent Christian book.

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J.C. Ryle: Practical Religion

John Charles Ryle was born on the 10th of May 1816 at Macclesfield, England in the family of a wealthy banker. Being a fine athlete and a highly educated man, John had promising career opportunities both in educational and political spheres. However, while hearing Ephesians 2 read in church in 1838, he felt a spiritual awakening and choose a path of ordained ministry.

Ryle was an earnest gospel preacher and teacher, as well as a prolific writer. As noted by another bearded man of God, John Ryle “was a controversial leader taking a strong stand for the truth and against error. His writing, like his the rest of his ministry, was both robustly doctrinal and devotional. He labored to help people know the Truth, and live by it.”

John Ryle has left a rich legacy of written works that continue to bless the readers even now. Among the favorites are his Holiness and Practical Religion.

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