by John Bunyan (1628-1688)
A simple, biblical description of the responsibilities of husbands, wives, parents, and children to one another.
Item code: fdut.
Source [Chapel Library]
CHAPTER 31-THE MINISTRY #1Co 4:1-21
Paul tells how ministers are to be regarded, what account is be taken of them, what attitude people should have toward them. We should not be too hasty in criticizing them or passing judgment upon their work.
1. They are ministers of Christ and stewards of the mystery of God. They belong to Christ. They are stewards of mysteries. A steward was a house manager, a slave under his lord, but a master over the other slaves in the same family. The gospel is here called mysteries. Mystery is something known only to the initiated. “He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (#Mt 13:11). The man who never preaches anything that everybody can’t understand is not preaching mysteries.
2. “It is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (#1Co 4:2). Plain honesty is what is required of a steward. This is what is expected of bank clerks and others in positions of trust, like public officials.
3. Human judgment does not count in appraising the work of preachers. The preacher cannot judge his own ministry. Paul was not justified by what he thought of his work. He placed little importance to what the Corinthians’ thought of it. The Lord is the only one who has the right or ability to judge. Failure to be conscious of one’s own sin does not mean that he is innocent. Most prisoners plead “not guilty”.
4. “Judge nothing before the time” (#1Co 4:5). Stop passing judgment, quit criticizing. The censorious habit was ruining the Corinthian church. Wait and let the Lord judge when He comes. He alone can judge the secret things of a man’s ministry. He will turn on the light and reveal it all. Wait and get His praise.
5. These principles are to be applied in their thoughts about Paul and Ananias. Apply these principles and you will not be puffed up for one against another.
6. It is God who makes ministers to differ. He speaks only of true God called ministers.
Preachers are to have no credit for their difference in gifts. But at Corinth they were making their different gifts ground for division. Different gifts are a great blessing. They are sovereignly bestowed. No preacher is the best example on all points. In calling and qualifying preachers, God does not imitate the candle maker who brings a tub full of tallow and pours it into one mold. All candles come out of candle molds just alike. We have diversity of gifts and divisions of labor. Exhortation, exposition, interpretation, tactfulness in visiting the sick and strangers.
Paul contrasts between the Corinthians and the apostles and uses sarcasm and irony. They were satisfied and having an easy time; the apostles were having a hard time.
C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 3
by Michael Kruger
As most readers know, there has been a long scholarly debate over what is known as the New Perspective(s) on Paul (NPP). This approach argues that “justification” in Paul does not mean what many Christians (especially Reformed folks) have always believed.
In short, NPP advocates (e.g., N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn) argue that (a) first-century Judaism was not a works-oriented religion, and (b) “justification by faith” is not referring to the acquisition of a righteous status before God, but instead refers to the fact that membership in the covenant community can be obtained without the standard Jewish boundary markers laid out in the law of Moses (inset is a picture of Mt. Sinai).
One of the major flash points in this debate is the term “righteousness of God.” Paul uses this phrase in a number of places…
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LONDON, August 30, 1877.
MINE OWN DEAR SON, —
We have all been delighted to hear of the arrival of the Lady J. at Melbourne, for we hope that it means that our Tom is all right. By this time you will have had enough sea, and when this reaches you I hope you will have found that “the barbarous people have showed you no little kindness.”
I have had a very loving and pressing invitation to come out, but how can I leave home? I shall have to write and decline for I am anchored here too fast, but I feel grateful for the loving invitation and wish that I could accept it.
Give them the Gospel. Study all you can, preach boldly and let your behavior be with great discretion, as indeed I am sure it will be.
You will be a man ere this reaches you: may the Lord give you full spiritual manhood. We shall try to keep your birthday and Charlie’s and I must invest something great in the way of presents for your majority. This must be placed round the neck of the farted calf when you return.
Char is to come into the College in September. He will have a little start of his brother: but he managed that at an early period, and I suppose you must put up with it. The Bolingbroke Chapel is paid for and will be a blessing, I hope. The people want their co-pastor back, and so do I.
You will, I trust, find the Lord open up ways and means for you to see the country and do good and get good. am all right: full of work and in pretty good force for doing it. The Lord bless thee, my son, and keep thee, and be ever thy guide. Live to Him, and you will be better than great. Thy father’s blessing rests upon thee.
Your ever loving father,
C. H. SPURGEON.
“In Christ the invisible God has become visible. Whoever sees Him sees the Father (John 14:9). Whoever wants to know who God is and what He is must behold the Christ. As Christ is, such is the Father.”
Herman Bavinck: The Divine and Human Natures of Christ
Have you ever tried witnessing to a person who hates the doctrine of Christ’s deity? They smugly say, “Well, of course, Jesus never claimed to be God, he merely claimed to be the Son of God! Oh really? The next time this happens, take them to the Scripture and show them this, “Philip said unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us. Jesus said unto him, “Have I been so long a time with you, and yet you have not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; and why do you say then, Show us the Father? John 14:8-9.
It doesn’t get any simpler than this! Philip had had enough of these references to the Father and asked Jesus plainly to, “Show us the Father.” Christ’s response is astonishing. He says, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me has seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
Was Jesus mistaken about His own identity? Was He simply a good man with a God -consciousness? Or was He merely a man possessed by God? Call it whatever way you will, if Jesus is wrong about being the God/Man, He’s a fruitcake! Listen to what He boldly declares, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.” In other words, He’s saying, “Philip I’m the visible image of the invisible God. Philip, you don’t have to guess anymore about what God is like, I am God in human form.”
This is stout stuff! Jesus most clearly and without ambivalence claimed to be God. John writes at the beginning of his gospel; “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John: 1:18).
The word translated ‘declared’ is of utmost interest. It is the Greek word ‘exegeomai’ from which we get the English words exegete and exegesis. When a preacher exegetes a passage of scripture, he brings out all that is contained in the verses. He declares what is there. He dares not read into the passage things that are not there otherwise he would be practicing eisegesis and not exegesis. Christ, according to John 1:18, is the exegesis of God. He has fully declared him. Is it any wonder then that He can say to Philip “If you have seen me you have seen the Father?” Horatius Bonar astutely remarks;
“Christ’s person is a revelation of God. Christ’s work is a revelation of God. He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. His words and works are the words and works of the Father. In the manger, He showed us God. In the synagogue of Nazareth, He showed us God. At Jacob’s well, He showed us God. At the tomb of Lazarus, He showed us God. On Olivet, as He wept over Jerusalem, He showed us God. On the cross, He showed us God. In His resurrection He showed us God. If we say with Philip “Show us the Father and it is sufficient for us,” He answers, “Have I been so long a time with you and yet hast thou not known me? He that has seen me has seen the Father (John 14:8-9). This God, whom Christ reveals as the God of righteous grace and gracious righteousness, is the God with whom we have to do.”
Horatius Bonar: God’s Way of Peace: Chapter 3
Do we understand the incarnation (God becoming man)? I for one do not. It is a mystery (1 Timothy 3:16). I can’t explain it, but I can declare it. God came here Himself, became one of us and yet remained fully God. Then as one of us, as a real and genuine human, He surrendered Himself to the ignominious death of the cross. No wonder the hymn writer declares, “Hallelujah, what a Saviour!”
And that’s the Gospel Truth!
SECTION IX. – JUSTICE.
GOD IS PERFECTLY JUST.
Justice consists in giving to every one his due. It has been distinguished into Commutative and Distributive. Commutative Justice is fair dealing in the exchange of commodities, and belongs to commerce. Distributive Justice rewards or punishes men according to their actions, and appertains to government. In either view, justice relates to the distribution of happiness, or the means of procuring it, and presupposes a principle or rule to which this distribution should conform, and, according to which, something is due to the parties. Commutative Justice regulates the giving of one means of enjoyment in exchange for another, so as not to disturb the proportion of happiness allotted to each; but Distributive Justice rises higher, and respects the very allotment or distribution of happiness, giving to one, and withholding from another, according to rule. It is in the latter sense only that justice is attributed to God. It implies the existence of moral government; and it is the attribute which secures a faithful and perfect administration of this government.
Some have admitted another distinction, to which the name Public Justice has been given. This determines the character of God’s moral government, and the rules according to which it proceeds. It may be regarded as a question of definition, whether the existence and character of God’s moral government shall be ascribed to his justice or his goodness. As this government tends to the greatest good of the universe, there appears to be no reason to deny that it originates in the goodness of God; and if it be ascribed to his Public Justice, that justice may be considered a modification of his goodness.
In the moral government of God, men are regarded as moral and as sentient beings, and the amount of their enjoyments is regulated with reference to their moral character. The precise adaptation of this is the province of justice. In the blindness of human depravity, men claim enjoyments as a natural right, irrespective of their moral character and conduct. They reject the moral government of God, and seek happiness in their own way. This is their rebellion, and in this the justice of God opposes them. This is the attribute which fills them with terror, and arrays omnipotence against them. The moral government of God must be overthrown, and the monarch of the universe driven from his high seat of authority, or there is no hope of escape for the sinner. He would gladly rush into the vast storehouse of enjoyments which infinite goodness has provided and claim them as his own, and riot on them at pleasure; but the sword of justice guards the entrance. In opposition to his desires, the government of God is firmly established, and justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne. Even in the present world, the manifestations of this government are everywhere visible; and it is apparent that there is a God, a God of justice, who judgeth in the earth; but the grand exhibition is reserved for the judgment of the great day. Conscience now, in God’s stead, often pronounces sentence, though its voice is unheeded; but the sentence from the lips of the Supreme Judge cannot be disregarded, and will fix the sinner’s final doom.
Although there are hearts so hard as to be unaffected by a sense of God’s justice, a right view of this awful and glorious attribute inspires that fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom. An abiding assurance that a just God sits on the throne of the universe, is indispensable to the proper exercise of piety.
 Job xxxiv. 12; Ps. ix. 4: xcii. 15; Isaiah xxviii. 17; Rom. ii.6
John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology
Copyright © 2016 Richard C. Barcellos. All rights reserved.
Note the translation of the particular phrase under consideration—“the Lord’s day.” It is not translated “the day of the Lord,” as in 2 Peter 3:10, because it is a different construction and uses a different word for “Lord.” Second Peter 3:10 reads, ἡμέρα κυρίου (hēmera kyriou [“the day of the Lord”]). The word κυρίου (kyriou [“of the Lord”]) is a genitive masculine singular noun. It comes from κύριος (kyrios), a noun meaning “Lord.” In the context of 2 Peter 3, “the day of the Lord” clearly refers to the eschatological day of the Lord, “the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning” (2 Pet. 3:12). Peter is clearly referring to the last day judgment, the day of the resurrection (see John 5:28-29 and 6:40).
Revelation 1:10, however, reads τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ (tē kyriakē hēmera [“the Lord’s day”]). The word κυριακῇ (kyriakē), translated “Lord’s,” is a dative feminine singular adjective, agreeing in case and gender with the noun it modifies…
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