Recently, while going through a desk drawer that serves as a kind of “catch all,” I found a little notebook in which I had made several notes relating to preachers, preaching, and leadership in the church. Since a number of elders, deacons, and preachers receive these “News & Views” I thought it might be interesting to share some of the notes I had made. There is no date associated with any of them, and they were obviously jotted down many years ago. I present them here in no particular order of importance, just some random notes that I recorded at different times over the years.
E. A. Elam, a great preacher and writer, said that he wanted inscribed on his tombstone: “He shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God.”
“Compliments are like perfume… they are made to be smelled and not swallowed.” (I recall hearing my great teacher and good friend, G. K. Wallace, say that on more than one occasion.) Continue reading
Found this quote in an ancient (2004) email:
One who receives this Word, and by it salvation, receives along with it the duty of passing this Word on. Where there is no mission, there is no Church, and where there is neither Church nor mission, there is no faith. —Emil Brunner (1889-1966)
Archeological digs as I did in my email can sometimes turn up a treasure.
I just found the following quote and comment of mine from an old, old blog. This was written 10 years ago. Just yesterday.
‘From the beginning’ is a favourite phrase of 1 John (8x) and is indicative of the author’s harking back to the foundations of Christianity. (Ruth B. Edwards, The Johannine Epistles, p. 30)
Sounds like the language of those who want to live by the original intent of the Sacred Text and, in our day, restore what has since become corrupted.
#restoration #1-John #quotes
LIPSCOMB AND WHITESIDE ON THOSE WHO CAUSE DIVISIONS
DAVID LIPSCOMB (1831-1917):
In his remarkable comments on Romans 16:17-18, David Lipscomb stated: “No greater evil, according to the Scriptures, could befall the churches than the divisions arising from the introduction of teachings and practices not required by God. The fundamental truth of the Bible is that God alone has the right to direct and guide the faith and service of his children. Everything added to the work or worship of God by man is a usurpation in the sight of God, and ought to be resisted. Things that enter into the worship of God ought to be distinguished from the things indifferent and from mere expedients used to help men in performing the service of God that render them comfortable while doing the worship. These constitute no part of the service, but are helps to man while doing that service, not additions to it. (Here Lipscomb has in mind such things as church buildings in which to assemble, pews on which to sit, a table for the Lord’s Supper, hymnals, etc., hf). All additions to the service of God are sinful and cause divisions. God has forbidden that anything be added to what he has required. There cannot be a doubt but that the use of instrumental music in connection with the worship of God, whether used as a part of the worship or as an attractive accompaniment, is unauthorized by God and violates the oft-repeated prohibition to add nothing to, take nothing from, the commandments of the Lord. It destroys the difference between the holy and the unholy, counts the blood of the Son of God unclean, and tramples under foot the authority of the Son of God. It has not been authorized by God or sanctified with the blood of the Son. Continue reading
INSIGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, AND QUOTATIONS
“According to the plain teaching of the New Testament, the church is a spiritual body, Christ is head over it, every Christian is a member of it, and there is no organization in it but local congregations. All Christians are ‘one body in Christ;” there are ‘many members, yet but one body;” that one body is the church. In New Testament times the Christians in each locality formed, or constituted, a congregation for religious work and worship. Each local congregation thus formed or constituted was the church—the body of Christ—in that place, and every Christian in that locality belonged to it because he was a Christian, and worshiped in it and worked through it because there was nothing else for any Christian to be a member of or to worship in and work through. Thus they kept ‘the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ There were no ecclesiastical brotherhoods [“tribes,” “traditions,” “fellowships,” “denominations,” etc., hf] in Christianity in New Testament times. Christ and all Christians were one, as the vine and its branches are one” (F. D. Srygley, Letters and Sermons of T. B. Larimore, Volume 1, reprinted by Guardian of Truth Foundation, 2006, p. 208). Continue reading
This quote, by one Derek Price, whom I know nothing about, is right on:
I have spent countless hours counseling Christians with problems, and have come to the conclusion that there are limits to what can be accomplished by counseling. I would say at least fifty percent of most Christians’ problems are due to the fact that they have not repented. I suggest that if you are struggling with problems in your Christian experience, ask yourself if you have truly repented. Turn totally from everything displeasing to God and yield yourself to Him in unconditional surrender.
Of course, “fifty percent” is an attempt at quantification that most of us do. No harm there. The estimate might even be low, which means in many if not most cases, people need prophetic words urging them to repentance, rather than soothing assurances to accept self or situation or offering other options to consider.
The will of God is complete. All Scripture encompasses the whole of human experience. How many problems would be solved, and pain and suffering avoided, if people but knew and obeyed the Word of God!
#repentance #counseling #Bible #quotes
Ron T. has a memorable post about the American Memorial Day. Among the good sentiments he shares is this:
Not to be out-shone at all, but to be elevated to the highest pedestal available are those who take up the armor of God. In its own right, a far greater battle in which each is engaged (cf. 1 Peter 2:11). When one takes up the armor of God, he (she) can no longer take up his personal way of thinking and engage an enemy; instead, one must take up a new way of thinking and engage the enemy within (cf. Gal. 2:20). Satan is a mighty powerful foe, a foe so strong there is no chance we will be victorious if we engage him on our own terms. In fact, Satan desires that we think we can. He never loses!
Romans 12.1-2 introduces the practical part of Paul’s letter and offers a framework to understand what follows. The last phrase of verse 1 has been variously translated. In 1993, David Peterson published “WORSHIP AND ETHICS IN ROMANS 12” in the Tyndale Bulletin. What follows is a quote from it.
If Paul’s expression is translated ‘spiritual worship’, there is a danger of accenting the inwardness of Christian worship and not taking sufficient account of the fact that we are to yield our bodies to God’s service. There is no doubt from passages such as 1 Corinthians 12:3; Ephesians 2:17-22; Philippians 3:3 that the Holy Spirit facilitates the worship of the new covenant era, but that does not mean that we are compelled to translate λογικὴ λατρεία as ‘spiritual worship’. On the other hand, ‘rational worship’ may only suggest a contrast between the offering of rational beings and the sacrifice of irrational animals. The mind is certainly central to Paul’s perspective here, but the focus is not simply on rationality. The service he calls for is the obedience of faith expressed by those whose minds are being transformed and renewed by God, so that they may no longer be conformed in lifestyle to the values, attitudes and behaviour of ‘this age’ (Rom. 12:2; cf. Col. 3:9-10; Eph. 4:22-4). Consequently, it may be best to read ‘understanding worship’, and to recognise from the context that this means ‘the worship which is consonant with the truth of the gospel’,13 [Cranfield] or the service rendered by those who truly understand the gospel and its implications.
#Romans #quotes #worship #truth
This quote from Napolean Hill has direct spiritual application.
If you don’t believe it yourself, don’t ask anyone else to do so.
It is virtually impossible not to transmit your doubts and insecurities to others through body language, tone of voice, inflection, word choice, and other subtle characteristics. When you show by your actions that you lack self-confidence, other people also begin to doubt your ability to perform. You can gain the respect and confidence of others. Begin by making a list of all the things you like about yourself and the things you would like to change. Make a conscious effort to build upon your positive strengths and correct your weaknesses. It may not be easy, but if you assess yourself objectively and persevere in your efforts, you will eventually prevail.
Hill applies this to one’s self-concept. We may apply it to the gospel. If we are not convinced of the truth of the message, it will come through to others. Confidence and certainty beget more of the same.
#faith #certainty #quotes
“In the end he tells the Lord, ‘Our eyes are upon thee.’ [2 Chr 20.12] Saying this, Jehoshaphat made God his leader. Soldiers in battle always keep their eyes on their leader. He is the one who knows the overall strategy, makes the decisions, and directs his troops to carry out the battle plan. If soldiers lose touch with their officers, their lives are in jeopardy and the battle lost.”
—Daniel Partner, All Things Are Possible, 107
#spiritual-warfare #God #quotes
An able man shows his spirit by gentle words and resolute actions (Chesterfield). He is able because he has been taught (or learned in some way). His words are gentle because he is secure in who he is, not threatened by others around him, thus no need to have harsh words. He has resolute actions because he knows what is right, will see it through to the end or be brought to an end trying to see it through. That which Chesterfield said, I am sure, came by experience and observation. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58, KJV). RT
#quotes #gentleness #action
Life rarely lines up to our liking; our ducks all in a row, the planets in perfect alignment, our t’s all crossed and i’s all dotted, fair and equitable treatment in all our associations and encounters. Something is always amiss, out of kilter, or just messed up. We feel irritated, provoked, and mistreated. That is life.Then why isn’t everyone beat down? Why aren’t all people a toxic dump of negative emotions? Why isn’t everyone mean-spirited, defeated and in despair? —It All Starts with Attitude
A good read today from an OK brother.
NOTES AND QUOTES
DAVID SHANNON SELECTED AS NEXT PRESIDENT OF FREED-HARDEMAN UNIVERSITY: I am thrilled with the choice of David Shannon as the next president of Freed-Hardeman University. I am confident that David is the very man needed to lead the school, and I join with hundreds of others in wishing him all the best in his new role. I am sure he will have the support and prayers of all of us who love Freed-Hardeman.
For the past 17 years, David has been practically a next door neighbor as he has served as the preacher for the Mount Juliet Church of Christ in Mount Juliet, TN. During his ministry the church has grown from some 500 members to over 1000. He is a master communicator and is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar in “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” I am convinced that he will see to it that the university stays in “the old paths” of New Testament Christianity, something, sadly, that cannot be said of all the colleges and universities among us. Continue reading
“For the divine nature may be communicated or imparted in some sense; and indeed while it is essentially and necessarily singular, it is certainly plural in its personal manifestations. Hence we have the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit equally divine, though personally distinct from each other. We have in fact, but one God, one Lord, one Holy Spirit; yet these are equally possessed of one and of the same divine nature. Some conceive of God as mathematical unit; and as a thing cannot be both mathematically singular and plural, one and three, at the same time and in the same sense, they deny the true and proper divinity of the Son of God and of the Spirit of God. But it would seem to us, that they reason not in harmony with the sacred style of inspiration. But why should we imagine that there cannot be a plurality of personal manifestations in the divine nature any more than in the angelic or human, especially as man was created in the image of God?” — Alexander Campbell, The Christian System, p. 8.
“It was said of [Robert Murray McCheyne], ‘He cared for no question unless his Master cared for it; and his main anxiety was to know the mind of Christ.'”
—Concise Dictionary of Christian Tradition