April 19, 2004

John Gill

John Gill 1697 – 1771

In 74 years he was able to acquire a scope of Biblical knowledge and enjoy a degree of usefulness seldom attained by any man. This knowledge and God given insight is seen in his writings and theological studies. Gill was a strict Calvinist and believed that scripture was its own best interpreter, and he appealed to the infallibility of the Bible. Through his remarkable preaching and pastoral labors, Gill has and continues to influence generations of young ministers and serious scholars. Gill was called to pastor the Strict Baptist Church in 1720, which he continued to pastor for 51 years. Eventually the Strict Baptist Church would evolve into the Metropolitan Tabernacle which would be pastored by Charles Spurgeon for over 35 years. To say that Gill influenced evangelical Christians in general is like saying the sun influences the daytime. He was the first Baptist to develop a complete systematic theology and also the first Baptist to write a verse-by-verse commentary on the entire Bible. An indefatigable scholar and writer, "Dr. Voluminous," as he was affectionately called, published more than then ten thousand pages during his lifetime. One of his most prominent works “A Body of Doctrinal & Practical Divinity”.

“Besides the understanding of spiritual things, which God gives in common to his people, he gives to his ministers a larger understanding of divine things, and of the scriptures and the truths of them; he opens their understandings, as Christ did his disciples, that they may understand the scriptures; he gives unto them to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to a greater degree than he does to others; and he enlarges their understandings, and increases their gifts, their light, and knowledge; that he might be better instructed in everything relative to his office, as an evangelist and minister of the word, the pillar and ground of truth; and which is the principal end of writing this;” – John Gill

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