Taking Hold of Eternal Life in Christ by George Gifford (1547-1620)
George Gifford is one of those puritan preachers that most are not familiar with, but ought to be. He is a storehouse of biblical sweetness, and draws out the truths surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ in his work and merit of salvation to the praise of God’s glorious grace … – McMahon
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George Gifford (1547-1620) was a most excellent puritan divine described as a fiery Gospel preacher, learned and able, being a great enemy to popery.
How is a person sure to be saved? How can they build up assurance of salvation and reject a profane life? What can they do to overcome sin and please King Jesus? These sermons all have a common thread running through them: to show you how to lay hold of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Gifford is very precise in laying out what each text means, as well as giving a careful and thorough explanation taking ample time to bring to light practical perspectives on his texts. In this, he will bring these topics home to your soul, and you will be a better Christian for reading him.
In his first sermon on taking hold of eternal life, Gifford explains, “Charge them that are rich in this world … that they may lay hold on eternal life,” (1 Tim. 6:17-19). He will show you how to lay up the good foundation you need in order to stand secure in Christ at the judgement to come.
In his second sermon on the three that bear record in heaven, he explains, quite thoroughly, 1 John 5:7-13. There are three that bear record in heaven, and three that bear witness in earth. And between these “six” there is Scriptural and covenantal agreement concerning the manner of salvation, the assurance that one can have of it. Disciples of Christ, “know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”
In his third sermon on rejecting the blessing of God, he explains Hebrews 12:16-17, “Let there be any fornicator, or profane person as Esau…” He is thorough on the Genesis narrative to show why Esau was profane, and how people today may also be profane following Esau’s example. His insightful comments in this sermon are exceedingly valuable and ought to be read with great soul-care.
His last sermon is on continuing in sin once a disciple is converted. Romans 6:1-14, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid!” Can disciples sin? Can they sin “big” and still be saved? He takes great pains, and shows a careful step by step explanation on what Paul is teaching throughout the sixth chapter of Romans; a chapter, today, often misunderstood, and overlooked.
Gifford is very easy to read, yet, exegetically sound and practically deep. May the Lord bless you as you take time to study along with Gifford on how to lay hold of Jesus Christ for eternal life.
This work is not a scan or facsimile, has been carefully transcribed by hand being made easy to read in modern English, and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.
Table of Contents
Practical Exactness – C. Matthew McMahon
Meet George Gifford – C. Matthew McMahon
Preface – Robert Walker
CH1: Taking Hold of Eternal Life
CH2: Three That Bear Record
CH3: Rejecting God’s Blessing
CH4: Shall We Continue to Sin?