Archive for the ‘Faith and Works’ Tag

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

The Manifold Wisdom of God   1 comment

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Above:  Lutheran Orphanage, Salem, Virginia, Between 1920 and 1930

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2012648358/)

Reproduction Number =  LC-USZ62-37575

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Eph. 3, 10

“Manifold”–many colored, wrought in many details; fulfilled itself in many ways and diverse manners.

1.  His wisdom manifests itself in the varieties revealed truth.  Doctrine is vitally related to experience hence all needed teaching is found there.  Man may serve Him in any life if only it does no harm to others.

2.  Manifested in the large variety of the church’s work.

(a)  Led by Him the church is called to serve in many ways.  Where there is a need the church is to supply it.  “Seeing the multitudes he was moved with compassion.”

(b)  These different lines of activity are the expression of the life of the church and are as varied as is all life.  A dead church does nothing.

3.  In this variety is unity.  Many members of the one body.  Methodism is one, but her unity is in everything she is and does–gospel, Sunday Schools, colleges, orphanages, polity, etc.  God’s wisdom is manifested in it all.

4.  In all this service we are serving Him.  He will reward every act done in His name.  It all embodies so much of Him, His life.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Saved for Good Works   7 comments

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Above:  The Recycling Center at St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, Saturday, April 13, 2013

Image Source = Bill Monk, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta

(https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/5866771570444420609/5867581301140346834?banner=pwa&pid=5867581301140346834&oid=114749828757741527421)

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Eph. 2, 10

1.  Material creation was made for a specific purpose–for man.  Genesis 1, 27-30; 1 Cor. 3, 21-23

2.  Christians are his spiritual creation.  He alone transforms our natures.  Eph. 2, 10 & 15; 4, 24; Col. 3, 10; Jno. 3, 3; etc.  All this is of grace–the ability & opportunity to believe.  To believe is man’s free act, after this grace is offered.

3.  God has one great purpose in saving us–“for good works.”  We are saved not because of good works, but saved to do them.  We work not to be saved, but because we are saved.

Works without faith are not religious from lack of pure motive.

Faith without works is dead.  But how many do not really believe it!!

God is not pleased with an idle professor.  Judges 5, 23; Matt. 25, 26.

4.  Men will be judged by their works.  See the Parables of the Pounds & Talents.  “Hungry and ye gave me not meat.”  Final salvation depends on obedience.  “Be thou faithful unto the death.”

5.  Then be admonished to do good.  Lay up treasure in heaven by doing every possible good.  “Do all the good you can, to as many people as you can, as long as you can,” for great is your reward in heaven.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Christ’s Sacrificial Death   2 comments

Crucifix

Above:  A Large Crucifix

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NOTE:

After saying this, Jesus raised up his eyes to heaven and said:

Father, the hour has come:

glorify your Son

so that your Son may glorify you;

so that, just as you have given him power over all humanity,

he may give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.

And eternal life is this:

to know you,

the only true God,

and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent….

–John 17:1-3, The New Jerusalem Bible

I am stickler for details.  So, based on the definition of eternal life in John 17:1-3, I state that there is eternity outside of God and that my great-grandfather misused the word “eternally” in his first point.  “Forever” would have been a good choice instead.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

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Titus 2, 14

1.  “Who gave himself for us.”

“Death passed upon all men”–left alone they were eternally doomed to death.  To live spiritually they must be forgiven.  But  it must be done in consideration of something.  Christ alone could pay the price.  John was about to weep at the unopened seal.  Christ’s life not the sacrifice; he shrank not from life, but the cross.  “Poured out his soul unto death.”  Why?

2.  “Might redeem us.”

(1)  Life the curse of the law & make possible our pardon.

(2)  Cleanse the soul, purify the people by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.  Peculiar people, living a righteous life.

(3)  “Zealous of good works.”  God’s people should abound in good works, no to be saved, but because they are.

Less than this zeal is short of his will.  As we value our own salvation seek that of others.  “Freely ye have received, freely give.”

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT