Every Christian needs dependable role models to whom one can look for teaching and example. Many of the greatest role models have departed from this life, but their legacy lives on. Believers of this day and age can learn much about a godly life from saints of the past.
Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen are three such saints. Each stood for the truth of God’s Word in the face of opposition–all out of a deep love for Christ and a desire for people to know God as he truly is. Popularity was not a concern, and they took no joy in controversy for argument’s sake. However, these men were willing to suffer for the sake of guarding the sanctity of the gospel. Many threats, years of exile, deaths of loved ones, opposition from friends and authorities, sickness and pain–none of these setbacks could keep these three from maintaining their efforts for the furthering of Christ’s Kingdom or quench their zeal for Christ himself.
John Piper’s Contending for Our All gives us biographies of Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen–bishop, pastor, and seminary founder. In the life of each one, personal holiness was emphasized publicly and privately despite suffering. They were true soldiers for the sake of the cross, and each man offers life lessons for Christians today
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