John by Dr. R.C. Sproul

In John, the second volume in the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series, Dr. Sproul deals with major themes in his easily understandable style. Readers will find invaluable insights into the goals John had in writing his Gospel, the background for Jesus’ time, and the meanings of some of John’s most difficult passages. This introduction to the Gospel of John is packed with insights and exhortations that will draw the reader closer to the Savior and encourage him or her to a greater depth of love and devotion to Him.

John presents the fruits of Dr. R. C. Sproul’s lifetime of biblical study as expressed in his most recent calling. After a long and distinguished ministry as a teacher in various settings, Dr. Sproul accepted a call in 1997 to preach at St. Andrew’s in Sanford, Florida. There, he adopted the ancient practice of preaching through books of the Bible, eventually working his way through several of them. He has now begun to adapt those sermon series in book form, and the result is the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series.


The Manhattan Declaration: Why didn’t you sign it, R.C.?

R.C. Sproul writes on The Manhattan Declaration,

“The Manhattan Declaration confuses common grace and special grace by combining them. While I would march with the bishop of Rome and an Orthodox prelate to resist the slaughter of innocents in the womb, I could never ground that cobelligerency on the assumption that we share a common faith and a unified understanding of the gospel.”

Read the rest here.

Just in Time! Romans by RC Sproul

9781433506857I just started my exegesis paper titled, “The Apostasy of Israel and the Mission to the Gentiles: Looking at Romans 11” for my Biblical Theology of Mission class. And little and behold I received my copy of RC’s newest title by Crossway.

I have heard many say over the last month about this title “do we really need another commentary on the Book of Romans?” But after already reading selected potations of RC’s new title, I say yes, yes for 2 reasons mainly.

One – The commentary is a selection of the sermons RC has preached through the book of Romans. Why is this good? Is instead of a critical, in-depth, hard to follow along read, it is as if you are listening to RC talk right at you with his stories and jokes all together in one.

Two – The commentary is easy to understand. This can be bad and good, but yet great for the unregenerate. The book can and should be given to those that have not heard the Gospel. RC puts the importance upon the gospel and staying focused on that, easy as 1, 2, 3… It is both good for the unsaved and saved.

From Crossway,

“Sproul’s sermons at St. Andrew’s Chapel are the foundation of these never-before-published expositions on Paul’s epistle to the Romans.

Chrysostom had it read aloud to him once a week. Augustine, Luther, and Wesley all came to assured faith through its impact. The Reformers saw it as the God-given key to understanding the whole of Scripture.

Throughout church history the study of the book of Romans has been pivotal to understanding Christian life and doctrine. Convinced that “Paul’s fullest, grandest, most comprehensive statement of the gospel” is just as vital today, R. C. Sproul delivered nearly sixty sermons on Romans from October 2005 to April 2007 at St. Andrew’s Chapel, where he has pastored for more than a decade. These never-before-published, passage-by-passage expositions will enrich any study of this weighty epistle.”

From others,

Sinclair B. Ferguson, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina

“‘R. C. Sproul,’ someone said to me in the 1970s, ‘is the finest communicator in the Reformed world.’ Now, three decades later, his skills honed by long practice, his understanding deepened by years of prayer, meditation, and testing (as Martin Luther counseled), R. C. shares the fruit of what has become perhaps his greatest love: feeding and nourishing his own congregation at St. Andrew’s from the Word of God and building them up in faith and fellowship and in Christian living and serving. The St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary will be welcomed throughout the world. It promises to have all R. C.’s hallmarks: clarity and liveliness, humor and pathos, always expressed in application to the mind, will, and affections. R. C.’s ability to focus on the ‘the big picture,’ his genius of never saying too much, leaving his hearers satisfied yet wanting more, never making the Word dull, are all present in these expositions. They are his gift to the wider church. May they nourish God’s people well and serve as models of the kind of ministry for which we continue to hunger.”

W. Robert Godfrey, President, Westminster Seminary California

“R. C. Sproul, well-known as a master theologian and extraordinary communicator, now shows that he is a powerful, insightful, helpful expository preacher. This collection of sermons is of great value for churches and Christians everywhere.”

Derek W. H. Thomas, John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Minister of Teaching, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi

“I tell my students again and again, ‘You need to buy good commentaries and do so with some discernment.’Among these commentaries there must be preacher’s commentaries, for not all commentaries are the same. Some may tell you what the text means but provide little help in answering the question, ‘How do I preach this text?’ R. C. Sproul is a legend in our time. His preaching has held us in awe for half a century, and these pages represent the fruit of his latest exposition, coming as they do at the very peak of his abilities and insights. I am ecstatic at the prospect of reading the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary series. It represents Reformed theology on fire, delivered from a pastor’s heart in a vibrant congregation of our time. Essential reading.”

Steven J. Lawson, Senior Pastor, Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, Mobile, Alabama

“R. C. Sproul is the premier theologian of our day, an extraordinary instrument in the hand of the Lord. Possessed with penetrating insight into the text of Scripture, Dr. Sproul is a gifted expositor and world-class teacher, endowed with a strategic grasp and command of the inspired Word. Since stepping into the pulpit of St. Andrew’s and committing himself to the weekly discipline of biblical exposition, this noted preacher has demonstrated a rare ability to explicate and apply God’s Word. I wholeheartedly recommend the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary to all who long to know the truth better and experience it more deeply in a life-changing fashion. Here is an indispensable tool for digging deeper into God’s Word. This is a must-read for every Christian.”

Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

“How exciting! Thousands of us have long been indebted to R. C. Sproul the teacher, and now, through the St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary, we are indebted to Sproul the preacher, whose sermons are thoroughly biblical, soundly doctrinal, warmly practical, and wonderfully readable. Sproul masterfully presents us with the ‘big picture’ of each pericope in a dignified yet conversational style that accentuates the glory of God and meets the real needs of sinful people like us. This series of volumes, a joint effort between two premier publishers, is an absolute must for every Reformed preacher and church member who yearns to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus. I predict that Sproul’s pulpit ministry in written form will do for Christians in the twenty-first century what Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s sermonic commentaries did for us last century. Tolle lege, and buy these volumes for your friends.”

Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“John Wesley once said of a colleague that Scripture so thoroughly pulsed through his spiritual veins that he ‘bled Bibline.’ The same could be said without exaggeration of R. C. Sproul. More specifically, one could easily say that he ‘bleeds Pauline.’ The theology of the Apostle to the Gentiles courses through Dr. Sproul’s veins in all of his work. Therefore, it is a special privilege to be able to read his sermons on Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Romans has turned the world upside down for two millennia. Not only did it lead to Augustine’s conversion; it was a primary source for his defense of the gospel against Pelagius. This epistle was the catalyst for the Reformation and shaped the minds and hearts of many leaders of the modern missionary movement. Romans continues its revolution to the present day and each of R. C. Sproul’s expositions reminds us why. Read this book and, by God’s grace, you’ll never be the same.”

Crucial Questions Booklet Series

Throughout his nearly fifty years of teaching the content of the Bible and theological concepts, Dr. R. C. Sproul has “majored on the majors”—the most important doctrines and truths of the Christian faith. As a gifted communicator, Dr. Sproul has helped many believers grow in their understanding of such matters as the nature of God, the history of redemption, and the manner in which we are saved. Now Dr. Sproul’s lucid teaching on these vital matters is available in a series of concise booklets that are perfect for personal learning and refreshing, as well as small-group study. 

The initial booklets in the Crucial Questions series deal with such topics as the true identity of Jesus, the will of God, the value of prayer, and the trustworthiness of the Bible. Future booklets in the series will address equally important subjects. For a quick introduction to matters at the very core of the Christian life, for yourself or a friend, consider the Crucial Questions booklets, new from Reformation Trust Publishing. 

The initial booklets in the series include:

  • Can I Know God’s Will? (ISBN 1-56769-179-5)

  • Dr. Sproul notes that the will of God can mean many different things. He explains the different meanings, then shows how Christians can seek and find God’s will, especially in the key areas of our jobs and marriages.

  • Can I Trust the Bible? ISBN (1-56769-182-5)

  • There is a common assumption that the Bible is “full” of errors and contradictions, making it useless. But Dr. Sproul affirms that there are many solid reasons to trust the Bible, for it is inspired of God and therefore inerrant and infallible.

  • Does Prayer Change Things? (ISBN 1-56769-178-8)

  • Affirming that prayer does not change God’s mind, Dr. Sproul nevertheless asserts that prayer has value as the means by which God works out His will. He also shows what prayer is supposed to be and what it is not. 

  • How Should I Live in This World? (ISBN 1-56769-180-1)

  • Christians want to “do the right thing.” But it can be tough to know what the right thing is. Dr. Sproul argues that the Bible is the supreme source for ethical guidance, providing ethical principles. He then shows how we can uncover and apply these principles.

  • Who Is Jesus? (ISBN 1-56769-181-8)

  • Dr. Sproul unfolds the meaning of the biblical titles of Jesus, then surveys His life and ministry to show that Jesus was no ordinary man but God incarnate. 

    Paperback 4.5 x 6.5 | 120 Pages each 
    Released September 2009 

    Order the series for $24.50
    Order the individual books for $5.60 by clicking on the titles listed above

    About the Author Dr. R. C. Sproul is the founder and president of Ligonier Ministries, and the minister of preaching and teaching at St. Andrew’s in Sanford, Fla. He is the author of more than sixty books and served as the general editor of The Reformation Study Bible. Dr. Sproul is renowned for his ability to communicate deep, practical truths from God’s Word.

    The Prayer of the Lord by R. C. Sproul

    From Ligonier: What is the Lord’s Prayer? In The Prayer of the Lord, Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “Jesus’ intent was to give His disciples a model prayer, an example to follow, one that would teach them transferrable principles for conversation with God.” In short, Christ gave the Lord’s Prayer to teach His disciples about prayer, and Dr. Sproul, in his trademark fashion, brings out many of the truths Christ intended for His followers to learn. Readers will learn how not to pray, then will be led into a deeper understanding of such topics as the fatherhood of God, the kingdom of God, the will of God, the nature of sin and forgiveness, the dangers of temptation, and the cunning of Satan. The final chapter includes questions and answers on various aspects of prayer not covered elsewhere in the book, and the appendix addresses the difficult question of the relationship of God’s sovereignty and prayer. The Prayer of the Lord is an eye-opening journey, one that reveals new vistas in familiar terrain. 

    Retail $15.00 | Ligonier’s Price $12.00
    Hardcover 5.5 x 8 | 144 Pages  
    ISBN 1-56769-118-8 | Released May  2009 

    Order Here for $12.00
    Table of Contents and Sample Chapter
    High-Res Image: Front Cover | Back Cover

    About the Author  Dr. R. C. Sproul is the founder and president of Ligonier Ministries, and the minister of preaching and teaching at St. Andrew’s in Sanford, Fla. He is the author of more than sixty books and served as the general editor of The Reformation Study Bible. Dr. Sproul is renowned for his ability to communicate deep, practical truths from God’s Word.

    My Thoughts: If you are looking for a short little book that is to the point on the Lord’s Prayer R.C. Sproul’s newest little title goes through it line by line. Dr. Sproul goes through the model of Christ example in how we believers are to pray to our Father. My Favorite part of the whole book is chapter one dealing with, “How Not to Pray.” The chapter deals with: Avoiding Hypocritical Practices, A Facade of Hypocrisy, Avoiding Pagan Practices, and Praying to a God Who Already Knows.

    In a day and age that Christians can often try to pray like they are some “holy-roller” or show themselves as if they know more then the guy next to them in their prayers, Dr. Sproul starts by showing exactly what not to do before dealing with Christ example in what to do. No matter for the young convert in learning how to pray, or the seminary student that studies all day, the book is a great reminder of the example from Scripture that christ has given his church to follow.

    Book Review of Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow

    There are often times a Christian comes in contact with an individual who is searching and is in desperate need for the gospel; or that the young or non-converted asks a mature Christian the question, “where do I start?”  When an individual has come to the faith, repenting from sin and following Christ, they often ask questions about what they should learn, where they should go, how they are to grow, and what they should do in order to live out their new faith. Similarly, there are times in the life of the non-converted when the Holy Spirit brings them inches from the gospel but it seems the fear of ‘what to do next’ overwhelmingly haunts them. One of the reasons that unbelievers never come to the gospel is because they are honestly afraid of how they would live out a different lifestyle that would change their minds and their hearts in a way that they would live fully for Christ. R.C. Sproul’s Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow outlines the most crucial areas of a believer’s life that must grow no matter what stage they are at in their life. Whether you are young in the faith, have no faith at all, or are a seasoned believer, Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow aids tremendously in the spiritual journey.  As R.C. Sproul expresses in his introduction, no matter if you are beginning the race or near the end of the race, every Christian must continue to grow. However, it is clear in the book that this fact is not merely a skill given to the individual but “it is a living, vital relationship with the God of the universe, a relationship that begins when a person becomes a new creation in Him and receives Jesus as Lord by faith.”

    In this short 135-page book, Sproul gives five particular areas that are easily regarded as areas in which every Christian needs to grow, yet are often overlooked in their depth and full importance. What I mean by this is that, yes, every believer knows he needs to read his Bible, but Sproul takes that further and details what that looks like and how it is played out so that the Christian can enjoy growing. Whether it is in Bible study, prayer, worship, service, or stewardship, Sproul suggests why these are the areas of every Christian that must be lived out. In each of the five things, Sproul begins with short stories that bring the reader to see the importance of the particular subject and how it is played out in life. One thing I appreciated most was that Sproul’s framework was not the same for each focal subject. He does not give the same format and the same subtitles for every area, but deals with all of them differently in the way each individual one needed.

    Brief summaries of the five areas are as follows:
    1.    Bible Study– Here Sproul deals with the fact that Bible study is something that believers must continually grow in, no matter where they are in their faith.  He makes this clear by showing that the Word is a conversation that every believer should want to talk about, and shows how the Word helps an individual grow. One of the many reasons that this book is a great tool for the young Christian is because Sproul explains how the believer can start their own Bible study and move from milk to the meat substance that every believer should be feeding off of.  Sproul then finishes by giving a few important tools that can be helpful when studying the Bible.

    2.    Prayer– On the subject of prayer, Sproul answers a number of questions for the Christian to see its connections in the ‘whys,’ the ‘how-tos,’ and the means of the Christian life. Sproul makes it clear that God’s people have always been called to a life of (and to the duty of) prayer. Sproul also brings forth prayer as a privilege for the Christian, and that the importance of this privilege is not merely an exercise of mysticism. Rather, he explains the communion of prayer as a process that enables spiritual growth with the heavenly Father, God Himself. Not only does he show the duty and privilege, but also shows prayer as a means in which to bring about God’s plans and the growth of the Christian. Sproul ends this section with showing how the believer is to pray, through the example that the Lord has given us in Luke 11:1-4.

    3.    Worship– Sproul brings forth the case that worship is regulated by God. He gives a quick introduction that illustrates how during the Reformation a number of disagreements had occurred about this, then moves quickly to the point that the Christian serves a jealous God – One that is to be worshiped and One that is to have nothing else placed above Him. Sproul then moves on to show how the Christian worships God in spirit and in truth.  This is how the believer worships their Father correctly, in honoring Him in who He is. One area that is often overlooked in dealing with worship is the preparation. Many times the Christian may awake from his sleep, shower and shave, and head out the door with just minutes to spare before they sit under the preaching of the Word.  Even more so, the Christian may be rushed for time, so he may pick up his Bible and read a chapter or two then close his Bible and move on as if he has spent his time with the Lord for that day. This is one of the main areas that Christians struggle with, as they live in such a fast-paced society. Preparation for getting around, doing one’s daily job, or for an outing, barely ever goes undone. However, preparation for worshiping one’s Lord, Savior and Father in heaven, is not made a priority. This is what Sproul deals with in this topic, in order to convey the absolute importance of the Christian properly worshiping Christ. He then ends with a few guidelines to help the individual glorify God in word and deed through/in worship.

    4.    Service– This area may not be on everyone’s top five list of things every Christian needs to grow. Man’s nature would rather be served than to grow and live out serving. However, Sproul deals with an important area of service in which many Christians never end up growing because they never grasp the full knowledge of the body of Christ. To explain this, he gives a number of different roles in which Christians could serve in the body of Christ. There are unprofitable servants, productive servants, and faithful servants – all looked at here. Sproul also clarifies and makes the point that not everyone is seen in the act of serving, nor should the growth of a Christian be based on his popularity or his reputation in his service.

    5.    Stewardship– Stewardship always requires sacrifice, and that is exactly what Sproul lays out in this book. Stewardship goes hand-in-hand with worship. Sproul takes what he had spoken about previously – that worshiping God is done in spirit and in truth – and then shows how sacrificing one’s self is a fundamental nature of worship. Here he outlines the tithe in the Old Testament, what is the storehouse and the best investment.  Sproul ends with the best investment – challenging every believer to invest in eternal returns. That is, investing in areas that are in the Lord’s kingdom and for the sake of the Lord’s name, and not their own. In this, the eternal investment will be seen within a person’s family and ministries, by the grace of God.

    January 26, 2008: Saturday’s Video of the Week: Christ The Only Way – R.C. Sproul