A plain book designed for plain people
(Letters of John Newton)
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness — so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work!" 2 Timothy 3:16-17
"When the Spirit of truth comes — He will guide you into all the truth." John 16:13
Psalm 25:14, "The secret counsel of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He reveals His covenant to them"--not notionally, but experimentally. A few minutes of the Spirit's teaching will furnish us with more real, useful and experimental knowledge — than toiling through whole folios of commentators and expositors! It will be our wisdom to deal less with the streams — and be more close in applying to the fountain-head. The Scripture itself, and the Spirit of God — are the best and the only sufficient expositors of Scripture. Whatever men have valuable in their writings — they got it from Scripture; and the Scripture is as open to us — as to any of them. There is nothing required but a teachable, humble spirit; and academic learning, as it is commonly called, is not necessary in order for this.
We learn more, and more effectually, by one minute's communication with God through the medium of His written Word, than we could from an assembly of divines, or a library of books!
As a minister, I endeavor to avoid all panaceas, singularities, 'hidden truths' and 'new discoveries' in Scripture. I wish to advance nothing which I cannot maintain upon the authority of the Bible in our English language — which I deem sufficient to make us and our hearers wise unto salvation.
The New Testament is a plain book designed for plain people. The gospel is to be preached to the poor and simple, who are just as capable of receiving it as the educated — and in some sense more so. I therefore lay little stress upon any academic learning — which depends upon a knowledge of original Greek and Hebrew languages, or requires a larger degree of capacity and genius to be understood.
"From a child, you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus!" 2 Timothy 3:15
"Unless our souls are living in communion with God, the Scriptures will not yield us their strength and nourishment!" (R.C. Chapman)