What happens when politically correct philosophies collide?
I’ve just finished listening to an audio book, a novel in the Ruth Rendell Mystery series, where once again the genial Chief Inspector Wexford cuts through all the red tape and bureaucracy, to solve a murky and seemingly intractable crime, with the help of his friend and colleague, Inspector Burden. The book was ‘The Monster in the Box’ and I would have to admit that it certainly kept me entertained while driving around in the car.
2 Corinthians (Study 2)
Text: 2nd Corinthians 1:3-11
Paul begins by offering Praise to our Heavenly father, and in doing so:-
1. Christian Song is DEFINED!
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort
a. There must be NO AMBIGUITY in our worship! Paul is very specific here when he offers praise to God. He must be! One of the tactics of the false teachers has been to infiltrate the church with plausible language, and with pious sounding phrases. They probably spoke about God, and about knowing God and loving God and worshipping God. But which God? Paul makes it very clear indeed, just who it is he is praising. He excludes anyone, who does not believe that God is only approached by faith in the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, and through Him alone. And there must be no misunderstandings about that! Today, we must make it absolutely clear where we stand. Christ and Christ alone. He is not one of these false teachers, and his letter will bear that out.
b. There must be THEOLOGY in our worship! In his praise, Paul introduces some teaching about God. We can LEARN SOMETHING from the words that he uses to worship. We learn that there is a relationship between the first and second persons of the Trinity. God is THE FATHER, and Jesus IS THE SON. We learn that there is a relationship between the SON and HIS PEOPLE, his followers – for he is OUR LORD. He is also described as the Messiah (Christ). And we learn something about the nature and attributes of God, for he is described here as the father of mercies and the God of Comfort! Col. 3:16. So, like Paul, our praise that we utter to God must have a didactic content. And what it teaches us must be true! So, we have no right to sing meaningless banal lyrics when we praise God. Far less have we the right to sing hymns which contain false doctrine. Then:-
c. There must be APPLICATION in our worship! The attributes of God that Paul introduces here have a direct effect on those who love and follow and worship the Lord. The Christian seeks comfort in the Lord! And that is the practical application that flows out from Paul’s praise!
So, in this one little verse, we can learn how to come before the Lord to praise Him, quoting His Word, exalting His name, no ambiguity in our minds or our hearts, edifying other believers in our praise, because our worship is filled with sound teaching from the Scriptures, and practical help and encouragement for other believers! Paul writes, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God
“The Prophet of the Covenant.”
Born in 1626 at the north end of Sorn village in Ayrshire, Alexander Peden was well-educated, studied at Glasgow University, and subsequently became employed as schoolmaster at Tarbolton. He was precenter and Clerk of Session to John Guthrie.
Peden’s only regular pastorate was at New Luce in Galloway. On entering the ministry, he was dogged by controversy, being accused by an unmarried woman of having fathered her child outside of wedlock. The real father, who confessed to having made the woman pregnant, cleared Peden’s name but the mother herself later committed suicide.
Peden was at New Luce only three years before the removal of the covenanting ministers from the pulpits in 1662. On 24th February 1663 Peden had to leave his pulpit, and struck the pulpit door, charging that none should enter it, except if they had entered in, by the door, (This was a reference to a saved and called ministry; a ministry of one who had come to Christ, the Door of salvation, as opposed to an imposed curate, whom the Presbyterians would see as an unwanted timeserver and an imposter) as he had done. The parish remained vacant until William Kyle was appointed as the minister in 1693, and no curate or indulged minister ever preached in its pulpit. Read more…
1 Corinthians 16:1-4
We have reached the very last chapter of the book of 1st Corinthians. Paul has spent quite a long time on one very important doctrine, the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead, dependent upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Paul has dealt with doctrinal matters that touch upon the very heart of the Christian faith, but suddenly he now switches very sharply and without warning, to matters that are intensely practical! The Offering! Some preachers are afraid even to speak about financial matters, but in the Scriptures, the use of money is very important indeed! In Matthew, Mark, and Luke 1 out of every 6 verses deals with money, while of the 29 parables Christ told, 16 deal with a person and his money. Paul’s teaching on giving is very interesting!
2nd Corinthians Study 1
Text: 2 Corinthians 1v1-2
I’m told that 2 Corinthians is one of the least studied books in the NT, certainly much less attention is given to it than to 1st Corinthians. The 1st epistle has been described as ‘the layman’s charter’ – in that it involves the apostle in arguments which will address everyday problems in the local church. 2nd Corinthians, on the other hand, is a letter dominated by Paul’s defence of his ministry – and it sometimes reads like a preacher’s discussion, rather than a book of helpful advice for all. Yet, as we shall see, there are profound theological truths contained in the book! There are one or two preliminary points that we need to make: Read more…
After a week away from home I’ve been left thinking much about the state of hospitality industry in this country, and how it puts into practice its ideals and objectives. In a week away you can get just about every level of ‘hospitality’ – from the over enthusiastic hostess, to the waiter who is so anxious to impress that he even rushes to the door to open it as one leaves, to the totally indifferent, rushed off her feet stewardess, who can’t be bothered to ask if you want anything. In Bible times, hospitality must have been a practised art.
1st Corinthians 15:50-58
In our last study we noticed that Paul was faced with two questions about the resurrection of the dead; how can the resurrection happen, and what will our new resurrected bodies be like. He used a number of illustrations to show how there are many different types of flesh, different bodies, already in the world, and that God made them all, and gave each one of them their individuality! So with the new resurrected body! The God who made Adam out of dust could without doubt recreate a spiritual body for each of us at the resurrection. The nature of that new body he illustrated by a number of contrasts with our present bodies, and showed that our new bodies would be incorruptible, honourable, powerful and spiritual! There is, Paul argues, a natural progression in all of this, for the physical always precedes the spiritual! Now the Apostle turns his attention to the events and results of that last day, and he gives us his final word, in this epistle, regarding the last day:- Read more…