Martyn Lloyd-Jones called George Whitefield the greatest English preacher who ever lived. Many considered Whitefield to be one of the greatest preachers … Franklin also built a large auditorium in Philadelphia for Whitefield to hold his crusades, since the churches there could not contain the crowds. On the contrary, he sought to deeply ground any person’s conversion in the truths of Scripture so that, by God’s grace, the sinner’s faith would be genuine. Whitefield's sermons presented a clear and balanced pronouncement of God’s sovereignty and his free offer of salvation to all who believe in Jesus Christ. Whitefield was an … Eventually, Whitefield’s mission would launch him across the Atlantic Ocean to the colonies in America. The Pharisee and Publican 35. In conclusion, George Whitefield was one of those men for which all Christians should be thankful. Whitefield preached his first sermon at St Mary de Crypt Church in his home town of Gloucester, a week after his ordination. Whitefield's sermons are deep and scholarly. And therefore, I will do nothing.’ What have you to do with God’s decrees? It was rich theology but not the kind that is to be studied only in a seminary classroom where students, professors, and docents discuss theology only with the mind, absent from the heart. Adam failed to uphold the Covenant of Works and all are held guilty of his transgression. As discussed above, he was enthusiastically evangelistic. Whitefield’s conversion experience set him on a mission—the Great Commission—to preach the gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ to people everywhere. Regeneration, therefore, was intricately linked to his understanding of total depravity and original sin. Along with the Wesleys, Whitefield was one of the co-founders of Methodism. gw sermons. Whitefield retired to Parsons’ home after a day of preaching in Exeter, New Hampshire (commonly thought of as the site for Whitefield’s last sermon), arriving in Newburyport likely by horseback. The Duty of Searching the Scriptures 38. And though his sermons might not always fall under the category of “expositional,” he had a very high view of the Scriptures as “the infallible word of God.”[5] He preached things like, “the words which are now before us, are to this day as true as they were seventeen hundred years ago. Themes like the humanity of Christ, His death on the cross for sinners, His burial, and resurrection, and the call to believe upon Him by faith permeated his messages. His first journey in 1739-40, would later become known as “The Great Awakening.” It wasn’t long before churches were unable to hold the enormous crowds that came to hear Whitefield. The size of the crowd should not surprise us; George Whitefield preached to large groups throughout the United Kingdom and America. He had earlier become the leader of the Holy Club at Oxford when the Wesley brothers departed for Georgia. Whitefield had cross-eyed (strabismus) vision. All of Whitefield’s doctrines were rightly interconnected. Now, knowing Christ personal did include knowing the deep truths about Him. For it would not be gospel.”[4] He had a high view of God affected his view of everything else. “Whatever other scheme of salvation men may lay, I acknowledge I can see no other foundation whereon to build my hopes of salvation but on the rock of Christ’s personal righteousness, imputed to my soul.”[23]. Whitefield's sermons are as relevant today as they were then because that is the nature of God's word. Passion was the key to Whitefield’s fruitful preaching ministry, and he never lost his zeal for speaking of Christ. George Whitefield, the famed 18th century evangelist known for crossing the Atlantic Ocean thirteen times, was an instrumental figure in the Great Awakening. Whitefield’s wife ministered by his side for 28 years until her death in London in 1769. 04. George Whitefield (1714 - 1770) was an English Anglican clergyman and founder of the Methodist Movement. George Whitefield (1714-1770) was an English evangelist whose preaching in America climaxed the religious revival known as the Great Awakening. But his evangelism did not flow from a preaching that was minimalistic or dismissive of other core doctrines of the Christian faith in order to merely get sinners to Christ divorced from sound theology. In his school and college days Whitefield … Furthermore, those who claimed to be Christians ought to have concern for their souls. The joy, love, and pleasure found only in knowing Christ personally far outweighed the carnal indulgences of this world. Whitefield’s messages even moved and impressed the skeptic Benjamin Franklin. While working to put himself through Pembroke College at Oxford University, Whitefield met John Wesley and his brother Charles. Table of Contents. He preached the necessity of a sinner coming to Christ. While far from an abolitionist, Whitefield was deeply disturbed to witness the brutal treatment of slaves. With increasing frequency, he sought to preach the good news to them. The modern-day tendency of preaching the “love” of God over and against the wickedness of man would not only not have crossed the mind of Whitefield, it would have not made sense. To be in him, so as to be mystically united to him by a true and lively faith and thereby to receive spiritual virtue from him, as the members of the natural body do form the head, or the branches form the vine.[13]. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012). But in Christ, the sinner is imputed with the righteousness of Jesus so that he or she can stand before God acceptable based on the merits of Jesus. Whitefield grew up in Gloucester, England, where he worked as a boy in his parents’ inn and tavern. “Oh what a Christ have we!”[11] This statement could be signed to nearly every one of Whitefield’s sermons as each homily sought to extol the riches of Christ in order that the hearer’s mind would be deepened and the heart would be warmed to His infinite excellencies. 02. He joined their Christian club of zealous students, branded “Methodists” by their critics because of their systematic approach to religious affairs. Whitefield might have become a famous actor had he not been called to the ministry. 166-167. Many in his day, on both sides of the Atlantic, held to a nominal Christianity. Or, maybe better put, his Calvinism constrained him to see Christianity in a particular (what he would call biblical) light. To Whitefield, many of his hearers had a head knowledge of Jesus with no attending warmness of the heart. He preached, “And have we not among us, thousands who call themselves Christians, who had rather part with Christ than their pleasures?”[8] For Whitefield, not only where the precious truths of propitiation, “the active as well as passive obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ,”[9] the death of Christ – “Can you hear of a panting, bleeding, dying Jesus and yet be dull and unaffected?”[10], and His resurrection regularly featured in his sermons, but so too were Christ’s loveliness. So wrote C. H. Spurgeon in a personal appreciation of that great leader of the 18th century. George Whitefield was born in the Bell Tavern, Gloucester. His sermons in England drew thousands, and his listeners were moved emotionally. They needed to be convicted of personal sin and savingly brought to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit through the heralding of the gospel attended with his fervent pleas for sinners to come to Jesus. The Holy Spirit, through the heralding of the gospel, must bring a heart from death to life in order that the person would then savingly be found in Christ through faith alone. F. Whitefield, M. A. Genesis 15:7 … To summarize his preaching in one sentence, George Whitefield preached a warm biblically rooted theology of Calvinism that was practical, motivational, and invitational. It should cause Christians to seek Him in His Word and prayer. Can they really be true? The Bishop, placing his hands upon George's head, resulted in George's later declaration that "My heart was melted down and I offered my whole spirit, soul, and body to the service of God's sanctuary." Thomas Walley, George Whitefield Preaching in Bolton, June 1750, c. 1863; Bolton Library & Museum Services, Bolton Council; BOLMG:1917.3.HITW. In Adam, the sinner is dead and guilty. Title Page. It was motivational in the sense that it sought to move his hearers to do something – to conversion, or greater holiness of life. George Whitefield understood his mission clearly—to spread the gospel of the new birth. He read theatrical works endlessly and even skipped classes to practice his school performances. And it should produce a longing within the believer’s heart to do good works for his fellow man, including sharing the gospel. Historians have called Whitefield’s dissonant view on slavery “the one dark blot upon an otherwise unspotted career.” At the time, however, Whitefield’s position was not uncommon among white Christians in America, with only the Quakers criticizing the practice of slaveholding and labeling it sin. The Resurrection of Lazarus 40. Whitefield, along with the Wesleys, inspired the movement that became known as the Methodists. He came to the American colonies and led many successful revivals during the First Great Awakening, and set the foundations of the United Methodist Church.He continued the revival movement started by Jonathan Edwards, traveling across the colonies and preaching … After he and Whitefield became friends, Franklin printed the evangelist’s Journal, which turned out to be a best-selling publication. Members of the press dubbed George Whitefield “the marvel of the age.” The spiritual revival that he helped to spark—The First Great Awakening—was a defining event in American history. Abraham's Offering Up His Son Isaac. With his flair for dramatic expression, Whitefield’s sermons were exceptional, bringing the characters of the Bible to life like never before. The estate was purchased for him by friends to help fund Whitefield’s orphanage for wayward boys in Bethesda, Georgia. Edward’s wife, Sarah, observed, “He makes less of the doctrines than our American preachers generally do and aims more at affecting the heart. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012). The Seed of the Woman, and the Seed of the Serpent. He was the first person in America to skyrocket to celebrity status, but remain a man of high integrity. Rev. Whitefield preached the core tenets of the gospel, those things which if denied, it would be impossible for one to be a Christian. Another doctrine that permeated many of Whitefield’s sermons, that he is unfortunately perhaps not as well known for, is the necessity of the imputed righteousness of Christ by faith. “Rather strong train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way,” 1 Tim 4:7-8. They ought to be holy people as, “walking with God implies a settled abiding communion and fellowship with God.”[16] They ought to work for Christ, understanding that “you work not for life, but from life.”[17] The Holy Spirit gives true life to the sinner so that his affections, attitudes, and actions are changed by grace. But he did not stop with laypersons, as he warned of the danger, and the reality, of many unconverted ministers of the gospel as well. He took to preaching outdoors, a practice that was virtually unheard of in his day. After a split over these theological differences occurred, Whitefield relinquished leadership in the Methodist societies to Welsey. In 1741, he married Elizabeth James, a 36-year-old widow from Wales and a recent convert to Christianity. For him, God being wholly sovereign was not inconsistent with the responsibility of men to believe on Christ. Tags: Table of Contents. You know not but you may be in the number of those few and that your striving may be the means which God intends to bless, to give you an entrance in.”[2]. It was during this time that Whitefield experienced a profound spiritual conversion described as the “new birth.”. 34. Some, who do not understand Calvinism or George Whitefield, might find this inconsistent, but for Whitefield, inviting sinners to Christ was a natural outflow of his theology. Walking with God. His warnings were not sugarcoated. Come to Christ and ye shall have it.”[15]. While his life on earth barely spanned half of one century, God’s continued use of Whitefield and some of his major preaching themes in the lives of countless Christians in the past three centuries is remarkable. During the Eighteenth Century, Great Britain and her American colonies were sovereignly blessed by the life and ministry of the Calvinist Methodist preacher, George Whitefield. The Marriage of Cana 37. Later, these same crowds would be awestruck into absolute silence as Whitefield delivered his mesmerizing oration. He was not enamored with “decisions” to be counted, but hearts truly changed by God’s power. Secret things belong to him; it is your business to ‘give all diligence to make your calling and election sure.’ If there are but few who find the way that leads to life, strive to be some of them. O that you may, by divine grace, be awakened to hear them…”[6]. He is a born orator. It would be like him preaching a round circle because God’s true love is made all the more manifest in the fact that He saves miserable wretches from their horrible godless condition. Whitefield was a preacher who commanded audiences of thousands with only the use of his unamplified voice and charismatic personality. Not only were his audiences unprecedented in size, but his listeners found themselves spellbound. To be in him not only by an outward profession but by an inward change and purity of heart and cohabitation of his Holy Spirit. Perhaps what Whitefield is best known for in the broader evangelical world is his preaching on the new birth. Whitefield’s Christianity was not about passing a doctrinal exam but knowing Christ personally. George Whitefield's sermons reiterated an egalitarian message, but only translated into a spiritual equality for Africans in the colonies who mostly remained enslaved. It is difficult to summarize the themes found in the sermons of George Whitefield without mentioning the context in which he preached. Therefore, one could say Whitefield’s preaching was orthodox, Christ-centered, experientially Calvinistic, and focused on key doctrines pertinent to both the lost and the saved, such as the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and the imputed righteousness of Christ. [3], First, George Whitefield preached what can be referred to as orthodox themes. 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