Sons of God by Faith   4 comments

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Above:  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Newnan, Georgia, June 30, 2013

Image Source = Library of Congress

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5895787306205745121/5896018951925445106?banner=pwa&pid=5896018951925445106&oid=114749828757741527421)

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

My great-grandfather mixed Protestant revivalism with old-style anti-Roman Catholicism and opposition to ritualism.  All those elements were like circles in a Venn diagram.  I have expressed my thoughts about worship here:  https://taylorfamilypoems.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/ode-to-liturgy/.  And, regarding my great-grandfather and his indirect influence upon me, I have written here:  http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/why-i-am-a-christian/.

And he wrote this between 1905 and 1913, well before the times of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.  We, as it turns out, did lift ourselves to the Moon by means of technology–close enough to boot straps, I suppose.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 11, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT OF NURSIA, FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

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Above:  Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, Apollo 11, July 1969

Image Source = NASA

(http://history.nasa.gov/ap11ann/kippsphotos/apollo.html)

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John 1, 12

1.  “Sons of God.”  This relation is spiritual.  He created & preserves all; but not all are sons.  “Not all are Israel who are of Israel” is clearly a spiritual distinction.  Not all the descendants of Abraham are like him morally.  Once rebellious, unbelieving, etc., now they love what He loves–are new every whit–sons.

2.  But man is not able to effect this change.  Were the power inherent in man Christ & the Spirit would not be necessary.

Ritualism fails utterly.

(a)  Works change not the moral nature.

(b)  Neither can water.  It is no more than a ceremonial cleansing.

(c)  Morality as an anchor does not reach the bottom spiritually.

At best such is only almost a Christian & almost is to fail.  As well pull on is boot straps to lift himself to the moon.  Rom. 7, 24-25.

3.  But Christ has this power–all power in heaven & on earth.  He conquered the devil, death, & the grave.  “Which were born…of God”  (v. 13).  “The Son…hath power to forgive.”  See Rom. 8, 2.  Christians in all ages testify thereto.

4.  This power is given to all who by faith receive him; the Spirit imparts it.  See John 5, 12; Luke 13, 34; Jno. 5, 4 & 10, 10.  To do this his constant pleasure; his longing.

5.  The Spirit who imparts the power testifies to us of it.  Sons of God & rejoice in the consciousness of it.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

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