Monthly Archives: March 2011

Worth Repeating: The Insignificance of the External

The Insignificance of the External

Let it never be forgotten that the material part of a Christian Church is by far the least important part of it. The fairest combinations of marble, stone, wood and painted glass, are worthless in God’s sight, unless there is truth in the pulpit and grace in the congregation. The dens and caves in which the early Christians used to meet, were probably far more beautiful in the eyes of Christ than the noblest cathedral that was ever reared by man. The temple in which the Lord Jesus delights most, is a broken and contrite heart, renewed by the Holy Spirit.

J.C. Ryle

(HT to J.C Ryles Quotes)

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke volume 1, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1986], 357. {Luke 21: 5-9}


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The Gospel of John: Part 5 The Lamb

 

John 1:29–39 (ESV) — 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” 35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

Today we will be in John 1:29-39. We will refer back to the Old Testament books of the law several times to make sure we have the same imagery in our head that the original hearers would. The two things we will focus on the most today will be the phrases; “Lamb of God” and “What are you seeking?”

This section of scripture starts out with the author saying the next day. If you were here for the last lesson you already know that the day before this the Pharisees or Jewish religious leaders, which we compared to the ones who try to control the church, sent the priest to find out what John the Baptizer was doing. He informed them that the King or Messiah was coming and they should prepare as he was doing. If you weren’t here you can quickly read verses 19-28 and see the conversation.

We can assume John the author was there that day since he gives us so much information on what was said. So this is the next day, John and Andrew[1] are listening to their teacher the baptizer when he looks up sees Jesus and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! He goes on to remind them that this is the man he was referring to the day before. The one that he said he was not even worthy to be a servant for.


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  1. [1] See verse 40 to see where it tells us this is Andrew. The other is assumed to be the author since he knew the details and did not feel it was important to tell us who the other disciple was.

Worth Repeating: Samuel Jones on Sin

During my lesson last weekend I wound up using this illustration to describe what repentance looks like.

Samuel Jones on Sin

There is no attitude towards God that is acceptable to Him except the attitude that turns with loathing away from sin. Here is a mother sitting quietly within her room. Her only child, little”Willie, just four years old, the pride of her heart and the joy of her life, sees mamma’s little pearl handled pen knife lying on the table. That little knife is the present of a friend, and mother values it highly. Little “Willie, unknown to mother, pick sup the little knife and runs out of the room; and in an hour mother wonders where he is, and directly the nurse comes in hurriedly and says:” Little Willie is lying all bloody in the front flower-yard;” and mother rushes out, and there is little Willie just gasping, and breathing his last.

He stubbed his little foot and fell and the blades pierced the jugular vein. The mother grasps the little almost lifeless child in her arms, and runs into the room, and just as she lays him on the little bed he breathes his last; and the mother kisses her child and says: “Sweet Willie, just speak one more time.” Next day mother carries little Willie to the grave and buries him, and comes back to her home with broken heart; and as she sits down and turns back the dark veil, the nurse comes out of the front yard and says: ” Madam, here’s the little knife. Here’s your little pearl-handled knife.” The mother looks at the knife and the blade all covered with the blood of her sweet child, and she shrinks back in horror and says: “Take that knife out of my presence. I never want to see it again. It has the blood of my precious child upon it.”

And when a Christian man or woman, under the light of God’s Holy Spirit, can see that every sin in the moral universe of God has been covered with the blood of the Son of God, then he shrinks back in horror and says: ” Oh I take it out of my presence. It is covered with the precious blood of my bleeding Saviour.” Oh, brother, you will never know what purity is until you see all impurity bathed in the blood of the Son of God. Oh, let us hate sin and abhor it, and turn away from it, and despise it utterly.

Stuart, R. George,FAMOUS STORIES OF SAM P. JONES: Reproduced in the Language in Which Sam Jones Uttered Them
(Fleming H. Revell Co.,1908) p 12-13

 


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The Gospel of John: Part 4 The Baptizer

John 1:19-27

And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

 

We are now to the testimony of John the Baptizer. Before we get started I want to help you get an image of John in your head. We have to look into the other Gospel accounts to get that picture because John the author doesn’t give us details about John the Baptizer, because he expects the readers to already have encountered John in the other gospels and also he doesn’t want to overemphasize the Baptizer because he is just a messenger.

John comes from Godly parents. His father was a priest named Zechariah. His mother was a godly woman named Elizabeth. She also was from the priestly line being able to trace her family back to Aaron. (The brother of Moses.)[1] Elizabeth also happens to be related to Mary the mother of Jesus. While the bible doesn’t tell us their age it does tell us that they were elderly and Elizabeth was barren. So for what ever medical reason Elizabeth was unable to bare children, plus she was at an age were it was impossible.

One day dad Zechariah went to the temple to burn incense. This was a special privilege that rotated around. This is where you would go into the Holy of Holies and burn incense. Only a priest properly purified could enter. If the priest did something wrong then he would die and have to be drug out of the temple by ropes, since no one else could enter to retrieve him. As Zechariah is doing his duties an angel appeared.


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