Archive for June 13, 2013

Philip, the Soul-winner   1 comment


Above:  The Baptism of the Eunuch, by Rembrandt van Rijn



The New Testament meaning of belief is trust.  So

I believe…


we believe…,

as in the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed, mean

I trust


we trust.

Yet how many people who say those creeds know this?

When people ask me if I believe in God I suspect that they are really asking me a different question:

Do you affirm the existence of God?

The answer to that is:

Yes, always.

But, if the query pertains to trust in God, the answer is:

Most of the time, yes.

Of course, some people accuse me of analyzing the question excessively.




Acts 8, 26-39

1.  Philip was a soul-winner.  His a holy work, one Gabriel would gladly do.  “He that winneth souls is wise.” God works through men.

2.  He heard the Lord’s call to go toward [the] desert.  The Lord needed him down there.

God calls constantly by the Spirit and by providence for laborers.  He has something for us all to do.  O may we attend the call!

3.  Philip obeyed gladly.  He went promptly to his appointed service.  He was one who hunted an opportunity to help.

4.  He found a prepared audience.

The Spirit who calls us prepares the way for us and aids us as we go.  How important, then, that we follow his leading.

5.  He had an experimental knowledge of Christ.  Only this is our sufficiency:  can’t be a patented outfit.  That which we know, do we declare unto you.  “To know” is superior to “I believe.”

6.  Result–a soul led to Jesus, a multitude of sins hidden, and both parties happy.  Who would not gladly do this?


Growth in Grace   1 comment

2 Peter 3, 18

1.  Citizenship in the kingdom of grace begins with the new birth.  Men are not Christian till born anew.  Let no one minify this gracious experience.

2.  But they are “babes in Christ.”  Not all of life; only its beginning.  Hence it is their one business to grow; this the Christian’s normal sate; sure to follow with the healthful soul.  The cradle is for the very young.  This growth is without termination.

3.  Arrested development is abnormal.  It indicates something seriously wrong.  There may be positive sin; maybe pure neglect of soul-care.  We should feel alarmed if we are not making progress.  Of course there are differences in spiritual life and progress; but growth is the test.  How many are no stronger nor holier than when they first believed, but really have lost ground?

4.  Are we growing less sinful and more holy?  Do we know more of Him and are more like Him?  Are we seeking the things that conduce to our growth?  One eternal progression is before us.  Do we press forward to attain unto it?  More love to Him!


Be Ye Also Ready   1 comment



I do not restrict my estimate of the timeframe of God’s grace to when one has breath.

My great-grandfather focused too much on the individual (especially in matters of sin) and too little on societal, structural issues (especially in matters of sin).  I have just revealed my Neo-orthodoxy.




Matt. 24, 44

1.  Man confronts an eternity of happiness or woe.  Death the door of entrance to it.  This his only probation.

2.  It is man’s one business here to prepare for the future–the greatest, all-engrossing question.  Who risks all will lose all at last.  Take no risk.

3.  He only is ready who is at peace with God–conscious of pardon.  If you do not possess this grace, seek it right now.  If you have it live it every day–stay at the post of duty.  O happy servant he in such a posture found.

4.  His coming will be unexpected by the sinner.  “My Lord tarrieth?”  It is a solemn thing to be called to meet him; no light affair.  The soul’s destiny is unalterable then.

5.  No matter how hard one must strive in order to live right, they will be glad of it.  Then we may have daily satisfaction from it too.  “Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”  Heaven will be cheap at any price.

6.  Will you heed His admonition?

Seek His favor and live right every day.


Posted June 13, 2013 by neatnik2009 in George Washington Barrett 1905-1913 A-F, Matthew

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Righteous Speaking and Thinking   1 comment

Ps. 19, 14

This is a vital matter to us & others.

1.  The tongue is indeed the unruly member, a world of iniquity.  We offend most with our tongues.  No man can tame it.  Hence he prays for needed grace.

2.  The power of human speech is beyond computation.  Words convey ideas, impulses, motives, desires, anxieties, sorrows, pleasures to others and influence them.  Thoughtless speech may seal the destiny of a soul.  “Words fitly spoken,” etc.  How evil a wicked word!  He prays they may be right.

3.  Speech is but the result of meditations.  Hence if words are right one must dwell on things that are right.  “While I mused the fire burned.”  “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth” the heart speaketh.”  It is perilous to give place to evil thoughts.

4.  All shall be brought into judgment.  Our words and thoughts are either acceptable to Him because [they are] wholesome, or displeasing because [they are] hurtful to ourselves and others.  We are not to please men but Him who is our all-wise and righteous judge.

5.  God is our helper thus to live and redeemer from past offences.  He prays to Him for needed blessing, that he may live right in all things.


Posted June 13, 2013 by neatnik2009 in George Washington Barrett 1905-1913 M-R, Psalms

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Power By the Spirit   1 comment

Acts 1, 8

1.  The Spirit imparts all power that we receive.  The only divine agent used in the salvation of men.  He quickens by the truth.

2.  The disciples were commanded to wait for the coming of the Spirit, when they would receive needed power.  Without it they were not equipped.

3.  Power to apprehend Christ and make him a conscious power in the life to overcome sin.  He convicts of sin and enables the penitent to lay hold of Christ–testifies of Christ.

4.  Power to testify of Him–to make Him so real to one’s consciousness that he can’t but speak the truth.  If the Spirit testifies to us of him we are to bear witness out of our own experience.  And that regardless of opposition.  “We cannot but speak.”  The blessed secret just burns its way out.

5.  This witness is to be borne unto the uttermost parts of the earth.  God commands it and the Spirit leads his disciples to this work.  Will we follow his leading?  This is why He bestows the power.  Let us seek it and use it as He wills.


The Body vs. the Soul   1 comment



I think of a wonderful poetic image from Rumi:

Stay bewildered in God,

and only that.

Those of you who are scattered,

simplify your worrying lives.  There is one

righteousness:  Water the fruit trees,

and don’t water the thorns.  Be generous

to what nurtures the spirit and God’s luminous

reason-light.  Don’t honor what causes

dysentery and knotted-up tumors.

Don’t feed both sides of yourself equally.

The spirit and the body carry different loads.

Too often

we put saddlebags on Jesus and let the donkey

run loose in the pasture.

Don’t make the body do

what the spirit does best, and don’t put a big load

on the spirit that the body could carry easily.

–Translated by Coleman Barks; from The Essential Rumi (1995), page 256




Matt. 4, 4

1.  Man has a triple nature.  He cannot fulfill his mission without the development of each.  The life must be regulated for the good of the whole man.

2.  Satan’s appeal is in behalf of the body, only even to the ignoring of the soul.  Provide for it only.  But the soul is involved.  Christ’s is no meat & bread policy.

3.  Live by every word of God, the will of God in all things.  Must not divert the divine order–soul first.

The soul is fed by doing God’s will.  His grace is for us–his love, sympathy & word of truth.

4.  The soul desires, “crieth out for the living God.”  He alone can satisfy its deepest longing.  Christ is the Bread of life without which we perish.  He can do exceedingly “above all we can ask or think.”

5.  We have faculties and means.  God wants them used for our highest good and His glory.  The devil would have us use them for the body only that we may perish eternally.

Which will we do, neglect soul or feed it first and thus preserve the whole man unto eternal grace?