Friday, November 20, 2009

”I Want a Principle Within”

I want a principle within 
    of watchful, godly fear,
A sensibility of sin, 
    a pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel 
    of pride or wrong desire,
To catch the wandering of my will, 
    and quench the kindling fire.

From Thee that I no more may stray, 
    no more Thy goodness grieve,
Grant me the filial awe, I pray, 
    the tender conscience give.
Quick as the apple of an eye, 
    O God, my conscience make;
Awake my soul when sin is nigh, 
    and keep it still awake.

Almighty God of truth and love, 
    to me Thy power impart;
The mountain from my soul remove, 
    the hardness from my heart.
O may the least omission pain 
    my reawakened soul,
And drive me to that blood again, 
    which makes the wounded whole.
                                             by Charles Wesley

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Church's One Foundation

Lyra Fidelium: Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostle's Creed 
by S. J. Stone, B.A., 

“...the Holy Catholic* Church: the communion of the saints...” 
"He is the Head of the Body, the Church." 
(Tune No. 142.) 

THE Church’s one foundation 
Is Jesus Christ her Lord, 
She is His new creation 
By water and the Word: 
From heaven He came and sought her 
To be His holy bride, 
With His own blood He bought her 
And for her life He died. 

She is from every nation 
Yet one o'er all the earth, 
Her charter of salvation 
One Lord, one faith, one birth, 
One Holy Name she blesses, 
Partakes one Holy Food, 
And to one Hope she presses 
With every grace endued. 

The Church shall never perish! 
Her dear Lord to defend, 
To guide, sustain, and cherish, 
Is with her to the end: 
Though there be those who hate her, 
And false sons in her pale, 
Against or foe or traitor 
She ever shall prevail. 

Though with a scornful wonder 
Men see her sore oppressed, 
By schisms rent asunder 
By heresies distressed: 
Yet saints their watch are keeping, 
Their cry goes up “How long?” 
And soon the night of weeping 
shall be the morn of song! 

'Mid toil and tribulation 
And tumult of her war, 
She waits the consummation 
Of peace forevermore; 
Till, with the vision glorious, 
Her longing eyes are blest, 
And the great Church victorious 
Shall be the Church at rest! 

Yet she on earth hath union 
With God the Three in One, 
And mystic sweet communion 
With those whose rest is won, 
With all her sons and daughters 
Who, by the Master's Hand 
Led through the deathly waters, 
Repose in Eden-land. 

O happy ones and holy! 
Lord, give us grace that we 
Like them, the meek and lowly, 
On high may dwell with Thee: 
There, past the border mountains, 
Where in sweet vales the Bride 
With Thee by living fountains 
For ever shall abide! 

        I believe that the Church of Christ is, has been, and will be one and the same: that it is holy in respect of (1) its Author and End, (2) the vocation of all the baptized, (3) the true saints within it:  that it is One, by unity of origination, of faith, of hope, of charity, of sacraments, of discipline: that it is Catholic, as being universally disseminated, as teaching all truth, as possession all graces: that its truly sanctified members have communion with the Holy Trinity, with the Angels, and with all Saints on earth and in Paradise.

"OTHER foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is JESUS Christ." 
"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." 
"Even as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctity and cleanse it." 
"The Church of God which He purchased with His Own Blood." 

"Out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation." 
"We being many are one Bread and one Body." 
"One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism." 
"There is none other Name under Heaven...whereby we must be saved." 
"We all are partakers of that one Bread." 
"Called in one hope of our calling." 
"...grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ."  

"Upon this Rock will I build my Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." 
"Lo, I am with you alway even unto the end of the world." 
"Marvel not if the world hate you." 
"False brethren." 
"Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy! when I fall I shall arise." 

"By reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." 
"I hear that there be divisions among you." 
"Watch unto prayer." 
"Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles." 
"Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting..." 
"The redeemed of the Lord...shall come with singing unto Zion." 
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and against powers,"&c. 
"In all these things we are more than conquerors." 
"The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." 
"We know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." 
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." 

"Our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son JESUS Christ." - "...the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you." 
"Ye are come unto the heavenly Jerusalem and to an innumerable company of angels, and to the general assembly and Church of the firstborn...and to the spirits of just men made perfect." 
""When thou passeth through the waters I will be with thee." 
"...with Me in Paradise." 

"Faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy." 
"Humble yourselves...that He may exalt you in due time." 
"He carried a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the Holy Jerusalem." 
"The Lamb...shall lead them unto the living fountains of waters." 
"The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them." 

* The word "catholic" in this context does not refer to the Roman Catholic Church but means "universal or including people all around the world."    

        Most clergymen are aware how many of their parishioners, among the poor especially, say the Creed in their private prayers.  And they cannot but feel how this excellent use, as also its utterance in public worship, is too often accompanied by a very meagre comprehension of the breadth and depth of meaning contained in each Article of the Confession of Faith.
        Such a feeling first suggested to the Author the probable usefulness of a simple and attractive explanation of the Creed in the popular form of a series of Hymns, such as might be sung or said in private devotion, at family prayer, or in public worship. 
        Prose expositions indeed of every kind are not wanting, from the great work of Bishop Pearson downwards, but these are more adapted for the student than for the general worshipper, for education rather than for devotion; and there can be little doubt but that the poetical form is more likely to be effectual in securing an abiding place in the general mind, and also in exercising an influence upon heart and life.
        To this end the Author set about the composition of the following Hymns, and though, now the work is done, he is painfully sensible that he has not reached the point either of fulness or simplicity at which he aimed, he humbly trusts that GOD will make them nevertheless of some use in His Church.
       A short prose Summary of the truths contained in each Article has been added, to render the world more complete by supplying some unavoidable omissions in the Hymns. 
        In the preparation of the summaries the Author has been much assisted by the Rev. J. Gorle's "Analysis of Person on the Creed." 
        The testimony of Holy Scripture has also been adduced to authorise the doctrine and sentiment of almost every line, and to shew the oneness of the truth of the Bible and the belief of the Church.
book on Amazon

Colossians 1.18-20 notes

William Barclay - The New Daily Study Bible

4.  What Jesus Christ is to the Church
(1) He is the head of the body, that is, of the Church. The Church is the body of Christ, that is the organism through which he acts and which shares all his experiences. But, humanly speaking, the body is the servant of the head and is powerless without it.
(2) He is the beginning of the Church.  The Greek word for beginning is arche, which has a double meaning.  ...   It means first in the sense of time...  It means first in the sense of the source from which something came, the moving power which set something in operation.  We will see more clearly wht Paul is getting at if we remember what he has just said.  The world is the creation of Christ.  In words from that fine hymn 'the Church's One Foundation', Christ is the source of the Church's life and being and the director of its continued activity.
She is his new creation
By water and the word.
(3) He is the first-born from among the dead. ... He is someone who, because of his resurrection, is alive for evermore and whom we meet and experience.  Christ is not a dead hero or a past founder, but a living presence.
(4) The result of this is that he has the supremacy in all things.  ... By his resurrection, he has shown that he has conquered every opposing power and that there is nothing in life or in death which can bind him.

5. What Jesus Christ is to All Things
(1)  The object of his coming was reconciliation.  The New Testament never talks ofgod being reconciled to the world, but always of the world being reconciled to God.  ...  It was God who began the whole process of salvation.
(2)  The medium of reconciliation was the blood of the cross.  
(3)  We must note that Paul says that in Christ God was reconciling all things to himself.  the Greek word is a neuter (panta). The point is that the reconciliation of God extends not only to all persons but to all creation, animate and inanimate. ...  Too often in Christianity, there has been suspicion of the world.  ... Far from being Christian, this attitude is in fact heresy.  It was the very attitude of the Gnostic heretics who threatened to destroy the faith.

Thurs 091119 pm Prov 19-21 1Jn1

Proverbs 19
19.1  a poor person who walks in his integrity...  A poor person who walks in integrity is a fine thing.
19.2  Desire without knowledge can be dangerous.
19.11 Good sense makes one slow to anger...
19.17  I wonder if we really believe this.

Proverbs 20
20.3 aloof from strife...  This is just the opposite from the wisdom of man.  The less honorable men are the more they talk about their honor and the importance of defending it.
20.11  even a child...  And they often do not realize how long that reputation will follow them.
20.22  Vengance belongs to the Lord.
20.29  strength ... gray hair...  Both are important.

Proverbs 21
21.1 in the hand of the Lord... God is sovereign
21.17 whoever love pleasure...  This is an intriguing verse to think about.  People always thing of pleasure as being the purpose of riches.
21.19  the upright gives thought...  We typically just think of righteousness in terms of  doing the do's and not doing the don'ts.  Thoughtful is another thing.

1 John 1
1.1  first hand knowledge
1.5 God is light.
1.9  An often used verse.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wed 091118 am 2Pt 3 Prov 17-18

2 Peter 3
3.5  deliberately...  This is a good reminder since we often have this "noble savage" view of the lost that they (with the exception of a few diabolical dictators and that person that is mean to me) really want the Lord, but just don't understand.
3.8  So this guy thinks to himself, if a day is like a thousand years to God, I ought to ask Him for a couple dollars.  So, that night in his prayers he, feeling rather smart, asks God for a few dollars.  The voice from heaven replies, "Sure, I'll get that to you in a couple days." 
3.9 toward you...  Hmmm... That doesn't sound nearly as universal has this verse is often thought to be.

Proverbs 17
17.3  the Lord tests the hearts...  I like to think about this in the context of Psalm 139.23-24.
17.5  It seems to me that insulting your Maker is pretty foolish.
17.21 the father of a fool has no joy...  A sad, sad, tragic verse.
17.28  This is just all around good advise.

Proverbs 18
18.2  Understanding is more important than expressing your opinion.
18.12  humility comes before honor... As per Phil. 2.5-9.
18.19  We sometimes loose sight of this truth.  Often doing things the slow way to avoid offending is quicker and better than getting something done in a hurry and then working through the arduous process of restoring an offended brother.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tues 091117 pm 2Pt 2 Prov 15-16

2 Peter 2
2.6  Sodom and Gomorrah...  "having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh"  Jude 7
2.7  righteous Lot...  I get really tired of preachers who trash Lot and say he made a wicked choice to move toward Sodom and Gomorrah.  Whatever his mistakes may have been, he is clearly identified as righteous.
2.14  hearts trained in greed...  What a sobering thought.  

Proverbs 15
15.8  This is an interesting verse because we always seem to think that God is desperate for any praise he can get.
15.16  fear of the Lord... is contrasted with trouble that comes with great treasure.
15.18   "Slow to anger" is good.
15.33  the fear of the Lord...

Proverbs 16
16.2  the Lord weighs the heart...  and we should too.  Something to keep in mind.
16.6  the fear of the Lord...  An important benefit of the fear of the Lord.
16.9  the Lord establishes his steps...  Man proposes, but God disposes.
16.32  better than the mighty...  "Ruling your own spirit" is a huge advantage.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday 091116 pm Prov 13-14 2Pt 1

Proverbs 13
13.13 despises the Word...
13.20 the companion of fools will suffer...  Nowhere is this truer than in marriage.
13.24  Not too P.C. anymore.

Proverbs 14
14.15 The simple believes everything..
14.23  A step further than "Talk is cheap."
14.26  has strong confidence...  The fear of the Lord
14.27  a fountain of life...   The fear of the Lord
14.30  envy makes his bones rot...   I think it was Booker T. Washington that said something like, "I will allow no man to demean my soul by causing me to hate him."
14.31 Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker.   

2 Peter 1
1.10  make your own calling and election sure...  I always like thinking about this verse.  It is mind blowing to think about confirming what God has predestined in eternity past.
1.21  What's with no "holy" in some of the "new" versions!?  I'll have to check that out sometime.

Sun 091115 pm

Proverbs 11
11.10  When it goes well with the righteous...  An interesting perspective in a society today that worries so much about Wall Street, skid row, and the "freak shows" a lot more that how normal righteous people are doing.
11.11 by the mouth of the wicked...    
11.14b  a good principle
11.17  I wish that I had had this one on the short list when I was teaching school.

Proverbs 12
12.1 This is a classic!!
12.10 I don't think that this is a verse that improves the status of animals, but says that a righteous man has regard for all God's creation, even the lowly parts.
12.16  Lord, give me prudence.
12.25 a good word makes him glad...  The old saying is that rumors and gossip will get around just fine without you help, but a kind word needs all the help it can get.