Archive for the ‘St. Paul the Apostle’ Tag

The Problem of Suffering   1 comment

Problem of Suffering

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

I, having read the Book of Job closely a few times during the last several years, feel qualified to issue a statement about that book and the larger problem of suffering.  The book does not provide an answer to that problem.  On the other hand, it does explain why the character of Job suffered.  God, the text tells us, allowed it.  So God was on the dock, according to the Book of Job.  Such is one of the basic issues with which intellectually honest Monotheists (a camp which includes me) must struggle:  there is no bad deity upon whom to cast blame for for pain and suffering while exonerating the good deity of deities of responsibility for them.

That text, however, provides a useful critique of we mere mortals, who, some more often than others, and often out of misguided yet well-meaning piety, presume to think that we know more than we actually know about God.  Job does it, as do his wife and his alleged friends.  The theodicy of the latter constituted idiocy.  On the other hand, Job is the only one asking serious questions of God.  The others are too busy defending their vain notions of God and divine justice to recognize what they see.  The cognitive dissonance which might result if they were to do that is too unpleasant for them, I suppose.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 24, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF ARMENIA

THE FEAST OF JOHANN WALTER, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF THE SEVEN MARTYRS OF THE MELANESIAN BROTHERHOOD

THE FEAST OF TOYOHIKO KAGAWA, TEACHER AND EVANGELIST

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Job 23, 10

I.

Freedom was the problem God confronted in creating man.  Without it man would have no moral nature–no merit or demerit possible.  Yet he was under law.

II.

This [is] the best kind of world in which to develop character, to cultivate the grace of mind and heart.  Love and goodness enrich the life; temptations and afflictions endured strengthen and sweeten character and increase our faith.  “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.”  His purpose is our development.

III.

Much of the sufferings of men results from his mistakes, oft times done in ignorance, as a child that touched a hot stove.  Oft times we bring our trouble by our willful sins.  Sometimes the innocent suffer for the sins of others, even more than the innocent suffer, for they feel it more keenly.

IV.

God does not forget us nor leave us alone.  He assured Paul:  “My grace is sufficient for thee.”  If we will we may rise above it, triumph over by his grace.

Let none rebel against God nor faint by the way.  Rather let everyone look to him for needed strength.  At last “we shall come forth as gold.”  “We shall receive the crown of life.”

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

“The Lord Shall Deliver Me From Every Evil Work and Will Preserve Me Unto His Heavenly Kingdom.”   1 comment

Lord Shall Deliver Me

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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I.

The problem of life is fraught with grave possibilities of good and of evil.

What snares beset our unwary feet.  Many lives are wrecked.  Others are blest.  How shall we successfully meet its problems?

(1)  Temptations.  They often are exasperating, vexing, very trying.  Left to ourselves we are unable to meet and overcome.  He can succour, sustain us, give us victory.

(2)  Unjust treatment, unkindnesses, slights.  They are not pleasant.  But they need not touch and harm our souls.  We can keep sweet and escape all hurt, all scars.  Jesus did; so did Paul and many through the ages.  It takes grace, but that is what grace is for, to keep when we are in need.

(3)  Low ideals.  We can spurn them and cleave to the highest and best.  The low is beneath the dignity of an immortal soul.

(4)  Sorrow.  It must come, but we can triumph over it by grace.  Abide in Christ and all will be well.

II.

Preserve me to his heavenly kingdom.  What will it matter then?  Toil will be forgotten.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Prayer of Prime Importance   3 comments

Prayer of Prime Importance

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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EDITOR’S COMMENT:

My great-grandfather referred to the 1940 General Conference of The Methodist Church (1939-1968), for these sermon notes come from late 1938/early 1939 to 1942 set, and the Methodist General Conferences meet every four years.

MARCH 17, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT PATRICK, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ARMAGH

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1 Tim. 2, 1

I.

The church faces the tragic needs of the world at home and abroad.  There are many and great needs.  The greatest is spiritual.  Only the church can be looked to to supply it.  “Ye who are spiritual restore such as one,” etc.  Others won’t and can’t if they would.

II.

Paul would have us all begin in prayer.  We, the church, need to draw near to God in prayer.  We need a fresh experience of his grace until our hearts are strangely warmed.  We can’t lead others into an experience we do not have.  “That I may know him,” etc.

III.

Pray “for all men.”  This is good and acceptable unto God.  The heart aglow with love for all men yearns for the salvation of the world.  Points for prayer suggested at the General Conference.

IV.  

It will take importune prayer to overcome the sinfulness of men’s hearts.  “Pray without ceasing.”  The effectual fervent prayer…availeth much.”  (Jas. 5, 16)  “He will avenge them speedily.”  (Lk. 18, 8)

God knows such strong cries for his grace, as the experience of many has shown.

It is time for the church to get about his work in all prayerful earnestness.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Place of the College Today   1 comment

Place of the College Today

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Ps. 119, 130

I.

Educo, to lead out; hence to develop and furnish for larger service.  One learns where things are, where to seek for further equipment.

II.

This is a day of specialists, who devote themselves to special preparation–do research work.  Knowledge, when properly applied, is power.

III.

The church pioneered in education–believes that an intelligent piety is essential to the greatest usefulness, in pulpit and pew.  Some things can be done only by persons well furnished in head and heart–as Paul, Luther, Wesley.

IV.

Church schools have made a great contribution to Christian sentiment.

They have had to depend largely on small gifts:  of late a few large gifts have been received.

Most men who [have] had the call to preach are poor and need help to prepare for their life-work.  Hence the appeals from our schools for help to carry on.

They call for help now.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Response to His Grace   1 comment

Response to His Grace

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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2 Cor. 6, 1b

…beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

Authorized Version

I.

Grace–divine favor–here especially that which comes through the death of Christ.  How unsearchable is its fullness–greater than we can ask or think.  It is offered unto all without money and without price.  God proclaims it by his ministers.

II.

Paul begs us not to receive it “in vain.”  It is in vain when we do not receive it by faith and let it produce in us needed results.

(1)  Believe it–accept it as true and respond to it from the heart.  We need just what it will do for us–deliver us from sin and make us more and more like our Lord in (a) love to God and man, (b) that we fall not short of the glory of God.

(2)  Become faithful servants of God–true to him and his cause in the earth.  To prove God’s grace to him had not been in vain; Paul adds:  “I labored more abundantly than they all.”

What reward has God for all he has done for us, if we do nothing for him?

May we respond to his grace and live for him in all things–keep busy serving him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Open Door   1 comment

Open Door

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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1 Cor. 16, 9

I.  

Paul would tarry at Ephesus, for there he had a great opportunity–to preach the word–a willingness to hear the word.  A God-given opportunity.  This made it imperative for him.

II.

Then the need was so great.  The people needed the message, that they might believe and be saved.

“Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”  To proclaim the gospel is of greatest importance.

III.

We see something of our unfinished task–the sinfulness of the people at home and abroad.  So many are in sin and so many know not the good news–live so far below the standard of love set forth in the gospel.  What an appeal is here!

IV.  

We have confidence in our Lord’s power to save and solve the problems of the world.  With such a Lord and Saviour no case is hopeless, where he is properly preached.  Here is the rub–properly to preach him to the people.  Hence Paul’s resolve to enter this open door.

The church must so present Christ as to lead men to the high life in Him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Posted March 11, 2014 by neatnik2009 in 1-2 Corinthians

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The Enrichment of Life   8 comments

Enrichment of Life

Above:  The Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

I have had to reconstruct some text due to the fraying of the page at the right margin.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 3, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS KASATKIN, ORTHODOX ARCHBISHOP OF ALL JAPAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANSKAR, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF HAMBURG-BREMEN

THE FEAST OF GIOVANNI PIERLUIGI DA PALESTRINA, COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF MILLARD FULLER, FOUNDER OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

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1 Cor. 1, 5

see 2 Cor. 8, 7; Rom. 11, 33; Eph. 3, 8; Col. 1, 27

I.

A pastor’s pleasure that his people receive grace from Christ.  He (Christ) came “that they might have live…abundantly.”  “What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought.”

II.

Paul thankful for their enrichment:

1.  In utterance, or speech, knowing what to teach.  Evil thoughts and utterance–charitable conversation no longer given place. But kindness, charitable, brotherly spirit holds sway.  “Love suffereth long and is kind…thinketh no evil.”  “Let the words…and meditations…be acceptable.”–Psalm 19

2.  “In all knowledge of God’s will.”  He opens our eyes to see what once was mysterious and dark.  Now “we behold worldly things in his law.”  The Spirit illumines his word as we study it.  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119,  105).    Religious literature a great blessing.

Such a life increasing in understanding and love more and more.  Paul prayed to this end.  “The Lord make you to increase and abound in love” (1 Thes. 3).  See also 1 Thes. 4, 10:  “We beseech you that ye increase in love more and more.”

III.

The riches of Christ Jesus are unsearchable.  “The riches of grace in Christ Jesus are better than gold.”  They are for us as we press on to appropriate them and so be thereby constantly enriched in our experience.

Let us not fail to grow in grace constantly.  Who does not want to know more of him and extend the greater blessing to others?

More love to thee, O Christ and to all men.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Acts 26, 19   2 comments

Acts 26

Above:  Part of the Original Text

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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I.

“Where there is no vision the people perish.”–Prov. 29, 18.  Paul’s vision changed his whole life and subsequent history.  In the light of it he walked and labored ever afterward.  It was a vision:

(1)  Of the nature of Jesus Christ as being the opposite of what Saul thought of him.  Divine and the Saviour of men.  How far-reaching is this truth.

(2)  Of his own sinful course.  Given a holy God, sin is very grievous.  “Against thee…have I sinned.”

(3)  Of God’s call to high and noble endeavor–to rise above the base things of the world and to render helpful service in Jesus’ name.

II.

Saul responded, obeyed God’s call, walked in the light given and climbed to high & holy living.  “His grace was not bestowed on me in vain.”  “I made most of it, used it and labored more abundantly than they all.”

III.

Whatever gleams of light & truth you have, grasp it eagerly, make the most of it.  Thereby life will be one of constant progress.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

The Macedonian Call   1 comment

The Macedonian Call

Above:  Part of the Original Text

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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Acts 16, 9-10

I.

Paul wanted to lead souls to Christ.  He had a passionate love for souls.  On his journey the vision came to him, “Come over…and help us.”  Here was an open door, an opportunity to help people.

II.

He immediately concluded the call was of God and thither he went and did a great work.

III.

Our call–God’s bidding and the knowledge that service is needed.  Do we need more than this?

(1)  The need of instructing and safeguarding the youth is great.

(2)  Telling the story to others, leading them to the Saviour.  Their great need is to know the Lord.  He alone is the hope of the world.

(3)  Helping the distressed of earth, especially helping to establish righteousness among men.

IV.

Shall we not, like Paul, conclude these needs are God’s call to us, to help them so far as we are able?  He beckons his church to help these straying, lost, distressed children of his to a better life.  He looks to us to build his kingdom on the earth.  What a great privilege is ours.  May we use it for Him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Luke 22, 27b   1 comment

Luke 22 Sermon

Above:  Part of the Original Document

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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EDITOR’S COMMENTS:

My great-grandfather made a note to himself.  He prompted himself to use a sermon illustration about one Mrs. Taft saying something to one Bishop Beauchamp.  That style of prompt is nothing new or rare; I use it in my teaching notes.  I have, however, tried to understand who the people were and what Mrs. Taft said.  I have been partially successful:

  • Virginia-born William Benjamin Beauchamp (1869-1931), from 1922 a bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (1845-1939), promoted ecumenical and missionary work, especially ecumenical missionary work.  He was especially involved in Methodist missions in Europe.  For a time he presided over the North Georgia Conference and the South Georgia Conference, USA.  My great-grandfather, being an official of the North Georgia Conference, would have known Beauchamp and heard some of his stories.
  • “Mrs. Taft” was probably Anna Sinton Taft, wife of Charles Phelps Taft I (1843-1929), brother of President then Chief Justice William Howard Taft.  Beauchamp apparently had a speaking engagement in Cincinnati in 1925.

Yet I still have no idea what she said to Beauchamp, assuming that she is Mrs. Taft of the sermon illustration.  If anyone can replace my ignorance with the light of objectively correct facts, please do.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 1, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS

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…but I am among you as he that serveth.

–Luke 22:27b, Authorized Version

I.

[There will be] need for service as long as there are needs, as food, raiment, intellectual needs.  To help supply these is helpful service.  Let all be done in his name, as unto the Lord.

II.

Jesus came not to be ministered unto but to minister.  Hence the text.  He founded a kingdom to be characterized by service.  Everything else [is] to be subordinated to service–to duty–illustration = Mrs. Taft to Bp. Beauchamp.

III.

How the lives of men have been enriched by service–Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Paul, [John] Wesley & multiplied thousands–mothers, teachers, young lives devoted to helpfulness.

There is no end to the story.

“Whose I am and whom I serve.”  When is there a higher life on this earth?

How great is the need today!  The church, yea, statesmen, are concerned about the world’s need.

Love can’t pass by on the other side now of all times.

May each of us have this vision and count it a joy to help.

His “well done” will be glory forever.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT