R's Commonplace Book

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Johnny Polk shared this in an email, Adam Clarke’s Commentary on Colossians 3:16:

“The singing which is here recommended is widely different from what is commonly used in most Christian congregations; a congeries of unmeaning sounds, associated to bundles of nonsensical, and often ridiculous, repetitions, which at once both deprave and disgrace the Church of Christ. Melody, which is allowed to be the most proper for devotional music, is now sacrificed to an exuberant harmony, which requires, not only many different kinds of voices, but different musical instruments to support it. And by these preposterous means the simplicity of the Christian worship is destroyed, and all edification totally prevented. And this kind of singing is amply proved to be very injurious to the personal piety of those employed in it; even of those who enter with a considerable share of humility and Christian meekness, how few continue to sing with GRACE in their hearts unto the Lord?”

Mr. Barclay, again, on the beginning of 2 John:

(i) Christian truth tells us the way in which we ought to love. Agape (Greek #26) is the word for Christian love. Agape (Greek #26) is not passion with its ebb and flow, its flicker and its flame; nor is it an easy-going and indulgent sentimentalism. And it is not an easy thing to acquire or a light thing to exercise. Agape (Greek #26) is undefeatable goodwill; it is the attitude towards others which, no matter what they do, will never feel bitterness and will always seek their highest good. There is a love which seeks to possess; there is a love which softens and enervates; there is a love which withdraws a man from the battle; there is a love which shuts its eyes to faults and to ways which end in ruin. But Christian love will always seek the highest good of others and will accept all the difficulties, all the problems and all the toil which that search involves. It is of significance that John writes in love to warn.

The Evil One has done a snow-job on us. Today, even Christians talk about their “passion.” Feeling is supposed to be the most genuine part of humanity. But it’s a lie. The most genuine part, if we may talk of such things, is the will. It is what we decide to do.

Would you say this is a decent statement by Wm. Barclay of what John calls the “sin unto death” in 1Jn 5.16-17?

It is a fact of experience that there are two kinds of sinners. On the one hand, there is the man who may be said to sin against his will; he sins because he is swept away by passion or desire, which at the moment is too strong for him; his sin is not so much a matter of choice as of a compulsion which he is not able to resist. On the other hand, there is the man who sins deliberately, of set purpose taking his own way, although well aware that it is wrong.

Now these two men began by being the same man. It is the experience of every man that the first time that he does a wrong thing, he does it with shrinking and with fear; and, after he has done it, he feels grief and remorse and regret. But, if he allows himself again and again to flirt with temptation and to fall, on each occasion the sin becomes easier; and, if he thinks he escapes the consequences, on each occasion the self-disgust and the remorse and the regret become less and less; and in the end he reaches a state when he can sin without a tremor. It is precisely that which is the sin which is leading to death. So long as a man in his heart of hearts hates sin and hates himself for sinning, so long as he knows that he is sinning, he is never beyond repentance and, therefore, never beyond forgiveness; but once he begins to revel in sin and to make it the deliberate policy of his life, he is on the way to death, for he is on the way to a state where the idea of repentance will not, and cannot, enter his head.

The mortal sin is the state of the man who has listened to sin and refused to listen to God so often, that he loves his sin and regards it as the most profitable thing in the world.

In God there is peace and, therefore, eternal life means serenity. It means a life liberated from the fears which haunt the human situation. In God there is power and, therefore, eternal life means the defeat of frustration. It means a life filled with the power of God and, therefore, victorious over circumstance. In God there is holiness and, therefore, eternal life means the defeat of sin. It means a life clad with the purity of God and armed against the soiling infections of the world. In God there is love and, therefore, eternal life means the end of bitterness and hatred. It means a life which has the love of God in its heart and the undefeatable love of man in all its feelings and in all its action. In God there is life and, therefore eternal life means the defeat of death. It means a life which is indestructible because it has in it the indestructibility of God himself.

Wm. Barclay, on 1 Jn 5.11-13

“… the ‘progressives’ innovate on teaching and conduct and thus start the schism, and then accuse the ‘conservatives’ of drawing lines and promoting schism instead of agreeing to disagree.” —D.A. Carson

“Our” progressives are doing the same, blaming the faithful for being divisive. Much like Ahab accusing Elijah in 1 Kgs 18.17-18.

“There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” —Jane Austen

Except when you need to get out for a change of scenery. Just now and again.

“Throughout people’s lives, God calls them to Him. He uses good and bad situations and people’s weaknesses and strengths to bring them by life’s end to the realization that He should be the most important person to them. God is not an egotist, but His importance in people’s lives determines whether or not they become who He wants them to be.”

—S. Kughn, Heart Tree for Empty Nesters, pp. 26-27.

Here’s what somebody wrote about getting out to vote.

Don’t just wake up on Tuesday and decide whether to go vote. Make PLANS to vote. Some folks’ lives depend on it.

Make it a priority. As much as is possible, plan the other aspects of your life AROUND the fact that you’re gonna go vote. Make it a given.

Put “serve the Lord” in the place of “vote” and you have a fine description of what it means to seek first the kingdom of God.

Paul prophesied that the church would see people resisting the truth and he showed that such was nothing new, for even in the days of Moses people resisted the truth:

“Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was” (2 Timothy 3.8–9).

Source: Do not resist the truth – Email Devotionals

People here often talk about religious authorities who are obviously have wrong motives, such as material gain. I tell them it’s nothing new. Don takes it further, all the back to Moses’ day.

Don’t know who John Bell is, but this quote of his is a good statement of divine purpose:

You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time, want us to wait. For the right time in which to discover Who we are, where we are to go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So thank you … for the waiting time.

Except perhaps for the last part, about what we must do. That has been fully revealed in Scripture.

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