Archive for June 1, 2013

The Mission of the Church   1 comment

Christ Pantocrator

Above:  Christ Pantocrator

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John 20, 21

1.  Christ was coexistent with the Father.  The Logos from the beginning.  But he left his abode and came to earth.

2.  He came on a mission divine and God-given–one certain work to do.  He came to seek and to save the lost–to bear witness of the truth and give his life for many.

3.  Love of the Father and the Son involved.  The Father gave His only Son; the Son gave Himself to die for us–for all.

4.  We, too, are sent on a like mission.  “Even so send I you.”  Seek the lost.  Teach all nations.  Go into all the world.  It is enough that the servant be as his Master.  You have a universal remedy for the disease of sin; tell it to all, invite all to receive it and be healed.

5.  This given to all the church–the eleven and the others that were with them.  Go or send.  Help save the world.  Put yourself and all yours into his hands.  Love all and hence help save all.  His love and yours combined.

6.  The Spirit given to this end–he shall bear witness and so shall you.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

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This is post #350 on this blog.–KRT

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The Church Divine   1 comment

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Above:  Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Greensboro, Georgia, March 24, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5859266162528403809/5859281391946625058?banner=pwa&pid=5859281391946625058&oid=114749828757741527421)

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Matt. 16, 18

Man needs such a community of interest for his spiritual good.

I. 

Ecclesia–congregation assembled for business.  “Called out” from others.  Christ is the head:  He loved the church.

II.

Divine:

(1)  In origin.  “I will found my church.”  Not of man.  Is the one divine institution.

(2)  In its operations–weapons are not carnal.  “Put up thy sword.”  Uses material things but only for spiritual results.

(3)  In its object–to seek and save the lost.  Not a community selfishly seeking its own; but trying to raise up to the cross of Christ.

III.

(1)  Being thus divine, the great Head concerns himself for it.  Men may not; he cares much for her prosperity.  [He] walks among the candlesticks, holds the seven stars, and sends messages to the churches.

(2)  He accepts service for her as done for himself and so rewards it; for so it is.  Gave himself for it and is pleased that we do likewise.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Rejection of Israel and Adoption of the Gentiles   3 comments

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Above:  The Reading of the Gospel, Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, Georgia, Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5879785940338178465/5879785940514346578?banner=pwa&pid=5879785940514346578&oid=114749828757741527421)

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

I adore ritualism.

https://taylorfamilypoems.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/spiritual-religion-and-ritualism/

and

http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/rituals-of-the-evangelical-united-brethren-church-1946-1968/.

As for Jews, I like them and respect their faith.  They are, as Pope John Paul II said, our elder siblings in faith.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 1, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAMPHILUS OF CAESAREA, BIBLE SCHOLAR AND TRANSLATOR; AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JUSTIN MARTYR, APOLOGIST

THE FEAST OF SAINT SIMEON OF SYRACUSE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

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Rom. 9, 30-33

I.

Paul acknowledges that for reasons God has rejected the Jews and called the Gentiles into his covenant mercies.  “The Gentiles…attained to righteousness…but Israel did not arrive at that law.”  Why?

(1)  Let it be recalled that God has the prerogative to dispose of His own as He sees best.  The potter has the right to mold the clay as he sees best.  Matt. 20, 13-16

(2)  But there is always a human side.  God is not arbitrary.  “He is certainly no respecter of persons,” without partiality and without hypocrisy.

The Jews failed utterly at a crucial point.  “Following after a law of righteousness did not arrive at that law.  Wherefore?  Because they sought it not by faith.”

“The law of faith which we preach” (Ch. 11, 20).  God long endured them, “vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction” (v. 22).  “All day long did I spread out my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Ch. 10, 21).  “Did God cast off his people?  God forbid?” (Ch. 11, 1, etc.)  Any of them may be saved even now by faith, as was I.

(3)  The Gentiles are under the same law of faith and it is because of their faith that they are admitted.  “Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame.  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all is rich unto all that call upon him,” etc. (Rom. 10, 11-12)  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (10, 13).  “By grace are ye saved through faith” (Eph. 2, 8).  See [also] Rom. 4, 5; 9, 33; 10, 4; 10, 11.

So then it is man that seals his own destiny.  Saving faith or a lack of it is the pivot of destiny.

II.

Let us learn once for all:

(1)  All emphasizing mere ordinances, ritual, or rites is a rejection of the mistake the Jews made–a looking to the letter of the law.  Inspiration never has put the emphasis anywhere but on vital experiential godliness.  “The letter killeth, the spirit maketh alive.”

(2)  The one safeguard of our lives is the magnifying of rich experience of the righteousness of faith.  Without it all else is an utter failure–is practical idolatry.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Not Ashamed of the Gospel   2 comments

EDITOR’S NOTE:

I have become convinced, based on my readings in the background of the New Testament, that my great-grandfather had a simplistic and false understanding of first century C.E. forms of Judaism.  I am quite familiar with these simplistic and false ideas, having learned them during my childhood.  Much of my Christian pilgrimage as an adult has consisted of laying aside misinformation from my childhood Sunday School.

I take this opportunity to defend ritualism yet again.  See also my comment here:

https://taylorfamilypoems.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/spiritual-religion-and-ritualism/.

I am sure that, by “professor,” my great-grandfather meant “one who professes,” not one who teaches at a college or university.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 1, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Romans 1, 16

Paul was acquainted with three distinct ideas of life–Greek culture, Roman law, and Jewish ritualism.  These had their excellencies but decided weaknesses.  Paul stands unashamed to compare facts and results with them all.  Culture did not save the Greeks, their gods were not gentlemen.  Law fails, having no power to dispose the heart aright–Rom. 8.  Ritualism can’t give spirituality.

1.  The gospel is an incontrovertible fact.  Its tenets are well-founded in facts of life.  No scientific truth is better attested, tried in the crucible of experience.  It makes good in every test.

2.  It is to be received by faith.  This attitude makes actual to the believer the fulfillment of every promise and benefit of grace.  Faith is the open door through which enters the truth of the gospel; yea, “is the hand that takes hold of and receives the blessing God offers.”

3.  When received it becomes a power in the life, renovating the whole life.  It never fails when given undisputed sway–saves the king and the peasant.

Let every professor make his boast in this gospel and rejoice in its promulgation and blessings.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Influence   2 comments

Rom. 14, 7

1.  Everyone has an influence over others whom he touches in life.  We are conscious of the atmosphere of another’s life and presence.  We are social beings and help to make up our brother’s world.

2.  Whether it is helpful or hurtful influence depends upon one’s life.  Corrupt tree, corrupt fruit.  Sinful life, hurtful influence; righteous life, helpful influence.  “Numbers tend to make a cause strong; Numbers and character do make a strong cause.”

3.  To live in sin is bad enough, to lead another into it is far worse.  To go to Hell is inexpressibly horrible; to drag down others too is infinitely worse.  Hence the hurt of evil associates is seen.  Bad company is a terror.  “One sinner destroyeth much good.”  It stops not when one dies.  1 Tim. 5, 24-25

4.  Every true Christian helps the cause of right, making it easier for others to live right.

5.  God will reward us some day for our influence.  The hurt or good we have done will not be forgotten, for whether we live or die we are the Lord’s.  Be sure the life is right.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Deliverance from the Body of Death   2 comments

Rom. 7, 24

1.  Sin, a bias thereto, the seed of sin, is born in us.  The seed is sure to develop into actual transgression unless the very highest religious pressure is brought to bear.  Conversion, change of heart, is an indispensable necessity.  Matt. 15, 19

2.  Actual sin produces bondage to sin.  Romans 6, 16.  The sinner is utterly unable to break the bondage of sin.

When convicted of sin man becomes painfully conscious of his sin and of his helplessness.  When he tries to resist the current he learns its strength.  He tries to extricate himself but wails out, “Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?”

3.  Who shall deliver the soul?

(1)  Can legalism do it?  It can’t impart the power to obey its mandates.

(2)  Can morality do it?  If so then man is his own saviour by lifting himself to an ethical plain.  But the pride of a Pharisee reigns in the heart of a moral man; so he still is a slave.

4.  Jesus alone can save.  He casts out Satan and gives a great salvation.  Thousands living and dying testify to His saving power and refuge in Him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT