A Corporate Gift
Here’s a great quote that I love from Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He was the Baptist pastor in 19th century London at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Thousands would come to hear Spurgeon preach. Many of his sermons are read and edify so many even today.
Spurgeon has got a great quote. At one point he says, I find it odd that those who think so highly of what the Holy Spirit teaches them, think so little of what the Holy Spirit teaches others also. And what is behind Spurgeon’s quote is this idea that the Holy Spirit is not a unique gift to a Christian in the 21st century. The Holy Spirit is not a unique gift to an American Christian and the 21st Century. So what we need to realize as Christians is that the Holy Spirit is a corporate gift.
The ESV Church History Study Bible is designed to help believers in all seasons of life understand the Bible—featuring 20,000 study notes from church history’s most prominent figures.
We have much to learn from our brothers and sisters in the faith from around the globe, but we also have much to learn from our brothers and sisters—faithful disciples—who’ve come before from two millennia of church history. In one sense, we, as Christians, are standing on the shoulders of all of those who’ve come before us. We may not even be cognizant of that, but we are.
We, as Christians, are standing on the shoulders of all of those who’ve come before us.
And so by cutting ourselves off from church history, we are cutting ourselves off from all of this rich tradition that the Holy Spirit has been teaching the church through his faithful disciples. So I heartily commend church history to Christians today. I think it can be of tremendous benefit for us both to understand God’s Word and to understand what it means to be a disciple today. We have so much to learn from church history.
Stephen Nichols is the editor of the ESV Church History Study Bible.
Reflect on the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus with insight offered into these events by gifted teachers from church history like John Calvin, Martin Luther, Augustine, Jonathan Edwards, and Charles Spurgeon.
Traditional Christians are typically those who take history seriously. If only we might be able to return to ancient worlds, we tell ourselves, all might be well.
Our brothers before us have gone down challenging roads and they have much that they can share that is of true benefit to us.
What can we learn from the early church fathers and how can early Christian creeds help us define our faith today?