Jottings – Believers are to Show Forth Heavenly Grace

“Imprecatory

Commenting on Psalm 137:9 and the Imprecatory Psalms in general:

 

The language is exactly suited to souls under the law; but now are we under grace, and no longer under law, and we pray for persons that despitefully use us and persecute us; whereas the whole tone of the Psalms, where they speak of the happiness of dashing the children of Babylon against the stone, is anything but returning good for evil: it is evil meeting with its just doom. I maintain that every word in the Psalms is of God — that all these imprecations are divine. Each curse, threat, and warning, all this sympathy with divine retribution, is as much from God as the Christian’s now interceding for his enemies; but they are not suited to the same time nor the same persons, nor is God accomplishing the same end. As long as God carries on the day of grace, all these things are entirely inapplicable. They are not what God is bringing out now. They remain true for ever, each always in itself a right thing. But the fact is, that God has now, in Christ, brought in full, sovereign grace; and therefore God puts those who belong to Christ in a position to show forth, not earthly righteousness, but heavenly grace.

 

Kelly, William. “Galatians.” Lectures on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians. Galatians. Web. 27 June 2016. .

 

 

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Jottings – Christ, Not Politics, is the Answer

Ezekiel 17

Commenting on Ezekiel 17:22-24 ~

 

Politics always proves to be a washout. Only the return of Christ offers any hope to this sin-drugged world.

 

MacDonald, William. Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. Ed. Arthur Farstad. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995. Print.

 

 

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Jottings – No Hesitation


Commenting on Acts 20 ~

 

The model covered the whole time Paul spent in Ephesus, right from the first moment he arrived until he left. That period has already been described in Acts 19:1-20; and if that were the only account of it, we might well have formed the impression that it was two years and three months of the rigorous public preaching of a forceful man, performing extraordinary miracles and achieving triumphant success. What a different side of things the present address paints in. Here is what the work of serving the Lord was really like, and here is the real man who actually did it: marked by humility, often reduced to tears as he faced the plots of the Jews against him (Acts 20:19, 31), and constantly beset with trials. But see his moral courage and generosity: ‘I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you,’ he declares in verse 20; and again in verse 27, ‘For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.’

 

D.W. Gooding, True To The Faith: Charting The Course Through The Acts Of The Apostles. (Grand Rapids, MI: Gospel Folio Press, 1995), 323.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – Labor in the Word and Doctrine


Commenting on 1 Timothy 5:17:

 

…the phrase ‘in the word’ suggests the ministry of preaching (see 2 Timothy 4:2), whether the gospel, e.g., Acts 15:7; Ephesians 1:13; cp. 2 Corinthians 5:19; or Scripture in general, e.g., ‘the word of truth,’ 2 Corinthians 6:7; ‘teaching’ suggests instruction from the Scriptures, the unfolding of the word of God. Faithful ministry in either respect is no light matter, it involves the spending of much time in prayerful and thoughtful meditation in the Scriptures, and thus ascertaining the mind of God revealed therein. The feet are to be shod with ‘the preparation’ of the gospel of peace. It involves the presentation of oneself to be ‘approved of God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth’ (2 Timothy 2:15). Anything of a merely mechanical or routine nature, or the handling of Scripture as mere theology, is utterly incompatible with the ‘labor’ here mentioned, and renders such ministry fruitless.

 

W. E. Vine, Collected Writings of W.E. Vine: 1 Timothy. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996).

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – Encouragement for Those Who are Despised, Illiterate, Ignoble, Unknown, Meek and Quiet in Spirit

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Commenting on Titus 2:2-10:

 

The comment of Chrysostom on these verses is worth quoting: he says that ‘Greeks form their estimate of doctrines, not from the doctrine itself but from actions and life.’ God often gets highest honor from the godly life and testimony of those who are despised by men in general as being illiterate and even ignoble. The meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price, even in cases where a believer is little known or heard of. If slaves in those olden days could bring glory to the name of Christ by the faithful fulfillment of their work, so surely can those whose occupation is in more favored circumstances.

 

W. E. Vine, Collected Writings of W.E. Vine: Titus. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1996).

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – The Pastoral Necessity of Building Up and Tearing Down

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Pastoral ministry is not merely a building up, but also a tearing down. As Paul would say elsewhere, it involves tearing down every speculation and lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). To fail to do this is ministerial malpractice and harmful to God’s people.

 

“How to identify False Teachers,” accessed on 5/4/2016 here: http://www.dennyburk.com/how-to-identify-false-teachers/

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – Before Honor is Humility

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Christ was designed for the highest honours, yet in his first step he thus abases himself. Note, Those who would rise high must begin low. Before honour is humility.

 

Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1620.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – Know Thyself vs. Know Thy God

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Know thyself, O man, and that will make thee miserable; know thy God, O Christian, and that will make thee rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

 

C. H. Spurgeon, “Dilemma and Deliverance,” in The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 6. Originally preached on December 4, 1859. (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1860), 9.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – Pain in it’s Eternal Frame

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Whenever physical healing does not occur and suffering is prolonged, we should not minimize the pain but remember its eternal frame. This affliction is but for a moment of our eternity and works in us and in others a dependence on Christ that makes heaven’s promises surer and more precious.

 

Bryan Chapell, (2005-07-01). Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name (Kindle Locations 752-753). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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Jottings – Until I Make Your Enemies Your Footstool

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“For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:34-36 — Perhaps even so there were some in the crowd who still had a major objection: If Jesus really was King Messiah, where was there any evidence of his kingdom? When was he going to start putting an end to the problem of evil? And if he didn’t do that, how could he be the Messiah?

 
The question strikes us today with even greater force than it may have struck the Jerusalem crowd. Almost two thousand years have passed since Jesus’ exaltation. But where has there ever been any serious evidence that he has even attempted to solve the problem of evil? The twentieth century has in fact witnessed in the Holocaust, in Stalin’s purges, in the killing fields of Cambodia, and in a thousand atrocities besides, an out-flowering of evil greater perhaps than any previous century. Jesus has obviously not attempted to stamp out evil. How then is it credible that he is both Lord and Messiah?

 
Once more the psalm has the answer. It was never part of God’s programme that the Messiah should proceed, immediately upon his exaltation, to stamp out evil. The invitation was: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’ There was to be an interval between his exaltation and the subjugation of his enemies, during which he would be seated at God’s right hand, awaiting the time of his second coming. Only then would his enemies be made the footstool of his feet.

 
And what a mercy it was that this interval was written into the programme, for the sake of us all, of course, but particularly for the crowd who stood listening to Peter. They had crucified God incarnate, and he was now elevated to the position of supreme power in the universe. What if there had been no interval and he had proceeded at once to stamp out evil? We are, Peter pointed out, already in the last days of this present age. The cosmic convulsions will occur soon enough, to be followed by the great and resplendent Day of the Lord and the dawning of the messianic age to come. But thank God for the present interval.

 

David W. Gooding, True to the Faith: The Acts of the Apostles: Defining and Defending the Gospel, Myrtlefield Expositions (Coleraine, Northern Ireland: Myrtlefield House, 2013), 78–79.

 

Thanks Keith!

 

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