“The recent revival of interest in and commitment to the truths of Reformed theology is due in large measure to the rediscovery of Puritan literature. The Puritans of old have become the prophets for our time.” R.C. Sproul
Throughout the ministry and writings by the Puritans, five major concerns dominate their thinking. Each of the five were thoroughly considered in the vast volume of their work.
First, the Puritans were concerned with searching the Scriptures, organizing their findings and apply what they had learned in every area of life.
Second, the Puritans possessed a commitment to Trinitarian theology. They loved the electing grace of God, the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ, and the applying work by the Holy Spirit. Their experiential Christianity was not an experience for the sake of experience. Rather, they examined how the experience of living for Christ stemmed from God’s work in them resulting in Him receiving the glory.
Third, the Puritans were committed to the local church. They believed worship should be biblically orientated, preaching should focus on the meaning of the biblical text and the fostering of Christian fellowship should never be taken for granted. These disciplines, they believed, ensured the well-being of the local church.
Fourth, the Puritans were not separatists from politics, but were engaged and involved in English government. They looked to Scripture for insight on the duties, rights, responsibilities and the authority of the king, Parliament and the citizens.
Fifth, the Puritans preached an individual, personal, and God centered conversion of the sinner. They agreed with Jesus when He said in John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven.” Therefore, they preached the biblical gospel, called the sinner to repentance and faith, rested in the Holy Spirit’s monergistic regenerating work in conversion, and to disciple the new believer in Christ in order for the new convert to grow in their faith. The Puritans agreed with James 2:17 that faith without works is dead and one’s faith in Christ should impact one’s home, work, church and culture.
Dr. J.I. Packer summarizes the Puritans this way: “Puritanism was an evangelical holiness movement seeking to implement its vision of spiritual renewal, national and personal, in the church, the state, and the home; in education, evangelism, and economics; in individual discipleship and devotion, and in pastoral care and competence.”
Take time today to evaluate how well you are committed to the previously mentioned five major concerns of the Puritans. May your concern for personal piety and biblical truth mirror theirs.
Soli deo Gloria!