A word in season – The Apostle John


Theude Grönland - Songbirds in the snow - Public Domain via Wikimedia

Theude Grönland – Songbirds in the snow


1 John 3

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Behold, what love the Father hath given to us, that we should be called the sons of God: For this cause this world knoweth you not, because it knoweth not him.

Dearly beloved, now are we the sons of God, but yet it is not made manifest what we shall be: and we know that when he shall be made manifest: we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is.

And every man that hath this hope in him purgeth himself, even as he is pure.


 

Supping with the Puritans – Marrow and fatness shared with ‘the prince of letter writers’


Isaiah 33:17

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17 Thine eyes shall see the King in his glory: they shall behold the land far off.
 


 


“Put the beauty of ten thousand worlds of paradises, like the Garden of Eden in one; put all trees, all flowers, all smells, all colors, all tastes, all joys, all loveliness, all sweetness in one. O what a fair and excellent thing would that be? And yet it would be less to that fair and dearest well-beloved Christ than one drop of rain to the whole seas, rivers, lakes, and foundations of ten thousand earths.”

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Samuel Rutherford

Source: Joel Beeke, “Why You Should Read the Puritans”


Photo: Stephencdickson
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Not having been written by the finger of God, the inscription on Samuel’s gravestone is fading. The Lord now writes on tablets of human hearts.

 

Quote of the day – Dr Luther


John 1:10-13

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10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

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John 6:44-45

44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.


I truly love the book from which this quote was taken. It is a Biblical argument against free-will. For me as a former Catholic, it was a soothing balm. 


Portrait of Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach, via Wikimedia Commons

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Dr Martin Luther

The Bondage of the Will (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1957), 313-314.

I frankly confess that, for myself, even if it could be, I should not want ‘free-will’ to be given me, nor anything to be left in my own hands to enable me to endeavour after salvation; not merely because in face of so many dangers, and adversities and assaults of devils, I could not stand my ground and hold fast my ‘free-will ‘ (for one devil is stronger than all men, and on these terms no man could be saved); but because, even were there no dangers, adversities, and devils, I should still be forced to labour with no guarantee of success, and to beat my fists in the air. If I lived and worked to all eternity, my conscience would never reach comfortable certainty as to how much it must do to satisfy God. Whatever work I had done, there would still be a nagging doubt [scrupulus] as to whether it pleased God, or whether He required something more. The experience of all who seek righteousness by works proves that; and I learned it well enough myself over a period of many years, to my own great hurt. But now that God has taken my salvation out of the control of my own will, and put it under the control of His, and promised to save me, not according to my working or running, but according to His own grace and mercy, I have the comfortable certainty that He is faithful and will not lie to me, and that He is also great and powerful, so that no devils or opposition can break Him or pluck me from Him. ‘No one,’ He says, ‘shall pluck them out of my hand because my Father which gave them me is greater than all: (John 10.28-29). Thus it is that, if not all yet some, indeed many, are saved; whereas, by the power of ‘free-will ‘ none at all could be saved, but every one of us would perish.

Furthermore, I have the comfortable certainty that I please God, not by reason of the merit of my works, but by reason of His merciful favour promised to me; so that, if I work too little, or badly, He does not impute it to me, but with fatherly compassion pardons me and makes me better. This is the glorying of all the saints in their God.


 

Scraps from the Puritan table: Thomas Watson


 


2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.


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“Affliction has a sting, but withal a wing: sorrow shall fly away.”

Thomas Watson

HT: Eddie and Kim Fagerstrom, Gleaning from the Puritans Facebook group


 

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