Coming into the borders of Magadan, after the miracles of the mountain in which he healed all manner of diseases, and miraculously feasted about eight thousand persons, Jesus encountered the Pharisees and Sadducees, who, sinking their sectarian differences for the time, agreed to tempt or test him by demanding a special sign of his Messiahship. Jesus declined to gratify them in this, appealing to the signs of the times which should be sufficient for them, and giving them himself a special sign. Let us consider, then -
I. THE SPECIAL SIGN WHICH THE PHARISEES SOUGHT.
1. They sought a sign from heaven.
(1) This was dearly the sign of the Prophet Daniel (see Daniel 7:9-14). The Pharisees then desired Jesus then and there to prove his Messiahship to them by appearing in the heavens as the Son of man in glory, and to establish a visible kingdom.
(2) This is a true sign of the Messiah. Not only is it a favourite sign with the Jews, but one also which Jesus acknowledged. He commonly spoke of himself, in manifest allusion to that very sign, as "the Son of man." But why, then, did he not gratify their expectations? The answer is:
2. They sought that sign too soon.
(1) It is a sign of a second advent of Messiah. A second advent there must needs be, for Messiah is described in prophecy in two distinct characters, which he could not fulfil at one and the same time. He is to come in the character of a Priest, to make atonement for sin, in humiliation, suffering, and death. He is also to come in the character of a King, in glory and immortality.
(2) In the first of these characters Jesus had then appeared. He must first suffer before he can enter into his glory, and therefore, also, before he can be revealed in his glory (cf. Genesis 3:15; Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Psalm 16:8-10; Psalm 22.; Isaiah 50:5, 6; Isaiah 53; Daniel 9:24; Luke 24:26).
(3) In the second character he promises in due time to appear (cf. Matthew 24:29-35; Matthew 26:64-68; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 14:14). And in this character accordingly he is expected by his disciples (cf. Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
II. THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES TO WHICH JESUS APPEALED.
1. Those connected with his personal advent.
(1) At the period of his birth there was a general expectation. The weeks of Daniel were fast running out within which Messiah was to be cut off (see Daniel 9:23-27). He must be born a considerable time before the date of his Passion. Gentiles then shared in the expectation of the Jews.
(2) His birth was itself a miracle. He was born of a virgin, and m the house and lineage of David. This was according to the requirement of the first promise in Eden, that he should be the "Seed of the woman," and of that remarkable place in Isaiah where a virgin of the house of David was to bring forth a son, who was to be distinguished as Immannel (see Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).
(3) That birth was also attended by miracles. The annunciation to the Virgin by Gabriel corresponded to that made to Manoah's wife concerning the birth of Samson, who was a type of Christ (cf. Judges 13:2-5; Luke 1:26-35). The wonderful birth was then celebrated by angels, who appeared to the shepherds; and by a star seen by the Wise Men in the East (cf. Numbers 24:17; Matthew 2:2; Revelation 22:16; Luke 2:9-14).
2. Those connected with ills public ministry.
(1) Foremost amongst these was the miracle at his baptism, when he was about to enter upon that public ministry (Matthew 3:16, 17).
(2) This was followed up by the testimony of the Baptist. That testimony could not be impeached. The Baptist was authenticated as a prophet of God by the miracles connected with his birth (see Luke 1:5-22). In that character he was acknowledged by his nation. He announced himself, as the angel had designated him to be, the harbinger of Messiah. In that capacity he pointed out Jesus to his disciples as the "Lamb of God that beareth away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
(3) This wonderful character Jesus was able to sustain. He wrought the miracles which the prophets said Messiah was to work. He did everything and suffered everything which the prophets said Messiah was to do and suffer in his advent as a Priest.
(4) The very wickedness of the generation that "tempted him, and proved him, and saw his works," was a sign of the times (cf. Isaiah 6:9-12; Matthew 13:14, 15). And to all but themselves is their obstinacy in rejecting Jesus, together with their long continued sufferings, a proof that Jesus is the Christ; for these things he foretold (cf. Matthew 23:34-39; Luke 21:22-24).
III. THE SPECIAL SIGN WHICH JESUS GAVE.
1. He gave them a sign from the earth.
(1) They sought a sign from heaven. The sign they sought, as we have seen, was that of the Prophet Daniel. That he gave them was the sign of the Prophet Jonah (cf. Matthew 12:39).
(2) They sought the sign of the kingdom of glory. He gave them the sign of the priesthood and suffering. The burial presupposes the death, and the death the suffering, of Messiah. These things he afterwards plainly showed to his disciples (see ver. 21).
2. This sign best suited a wicked generation.
(1) It fulfilled the sacrifices of the Law. Those sacrifices were ostensibly to make atonement for sin. But in what sense? Ceremonially and typically. Morally they could not remove sin. To suppose so would be to outrage common sense. "It is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins." Their inability to do this was acknowledged, for it was necessary to repeat the sacrifices. In the light of the great sin sacrifice of Calvary, all is plain.
(2) It fulfilled the sacrifice of Isaac. In the daily prayers read in the synagogue we have this: "אנא מלד, O most merciful and gracious King! we beseech thee to remember and to look back on the covenant made between the divided offerings, and let the recollection of the sacrificial binding of the only son appear before thee, in favour of Israel." But what sense is there in this unless the "sacrificial binding" of Isaac be accepted as typical of the only Son of God, the Seed of Isaac, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed?
(3) The sign of a sufficient sacrifice for the expiation of sin is, of all others, to be desired by a wicked generation. But were the Lord to have answered their foolish prayer, and to have appeared without a sin sacrifice, as their King in judgment, they would be the first to be destroyed in the fires of his anger.
3. Jesus rested his claims upon this sign.
(1) He predicted that he "must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed." Within a year this was literally fulfilled.
(2) But now comes the testing point. He added, "and the third day be raised up" (see ver. 21). So about a year earlier he explained this sign of the Prophet Jonah to certain scribes and Pharisees. "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the seamonster; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (see Matthew 12:40).
(3) This also was fulfilled to the letter. No event of history is better authenticated than the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. And if the evidence that Jesus is the Christ will not convince the Jews, they cannot be convinced by evidence; they can only be convinced by judgment. The sign from heaven will convince them. - J.A.M.
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.1.
The kingdom of heaven does not mean heaven.
2. The kingdom of heaven does not mean the Church. It indicates power:
The Saviour had spoken of an edifice in which Peter was to be a conspicuous foundation-stone. The edifice was a temple. The scene was then varied a little; and the edifice was a city. The scene was varied again; the city is a kingdom. It is the kingdom of heaven. All the representations are significant. They are all appropriate aspects, though varied, of the grand reality. Our Lord promises to Peter the keys of the kingdom
As the kingdom is a city, keys are needed for the gates. The city is a fortified place, a castle, the palatial residence of the Great King. A steward of the house is required, a major-domo, one who may take charge not only of the keys of the gates, but of the keys of the treasure-house too, and of all the storerooms of the establishment. Our Saviour intimates to Peter that he would be constituted such a steward of the house of God. He was to have great power and authority as the prime minister of the King. Acting according to the commands of his Sovereign, he would have authority to open the gates or to shut them; to open the storehouses or to close them. His power would be, relatively to the King, administrative only. And in discharge of the functions of his high office he would at once be instructed from above by the Divine Spirit, and be assisted from around by other high officials — the other apostles. He and they unitedly would constitute the King's ministry. He would be premier. Hence it was that on the Day of Pentecost he took the lead and opened the gates of the kingdom to the Jews. Hence too, when he was in Joppa, he was instructed by his Lord to open the gates of the kingdom to the Gentiles; and he did it. Hence also, in all the lists of the apostles, Peter is invariably mentioned first.
He has, however, no successor in his premiership, just as he had no successor as a Foundation-Stone. The Foundation-Stone lasts for ever. So do all the living stones. They live for ever. And so the ministry of the apostles continues for ever. The laws of the King are communicated to us for ever through the ministry of his apostolic ministers.
Every Jewish scribe, when fully trained and authorized to teach his brethren, received from his tutors and superiors a key, to symbolize the knowledge of the Divine will which he possessed, and was about to dedicate to the service of his brethren; many of them either carried a key at their girdle, or had it woven into their robe, as an open sign of the profession to which they had been set apart. When, therefore, Christ put " the keys of the kingdom of heaven " into the hands of His disciples, they would understand that they were to become scribes
in His kingdom; teachers of the truth, expounders of the law they had learned
from Him; witnesses and exemplars of the life they had seen Him live. These keys we have authority to use too — keys of righteousness and charity, i.e.
, keys of kindness
and good living, as well as keys of wisdom and knowledge. By our daily conduct, and by the spirit of our whole conduct, no less than by our words, we are saying to our fellows, "This
, so far as we understand Him, is how Christ would have men live; you have only to live so
, and you
will be in His kingdom, under His rule and benediction." By our good words, and our good works, we are to constitute ourselves door-keepers in the House of the Lord, and to open the doors to all who would enter in. It is, then, no merely personal salvation, no merely future and distant heaven, no merely selfish and ignoble task, for which we look and to which we are summoned. We are looking for the heaven of being now and always in tune with the will of God, and for a salvation which embraces the whole nature of man, and extends to every race and kindred and tribe.
In the language of the Jewish schools, to "bind " and to " loose," meant to prohibit and to permit, to determine what was wrong and must not be done, and what was right and ought to be done. Rabbi Sham-mat, for instance, bound
all heathen learning, i.e.
, he forbade his disciples to acquire it — declared what we should call "classical studies" to be wrong; while Rabbi Hillel loosed
these studies — declared them to be right, that is, and encouraged his disciples to take them up. In addressing this promise to His first disciples, therefore, Christ meant to say that, humble and unlearned as they were, yet, in virtue of the new spiritual life and insight which He had conferred upon them, they should become "masters of sentences," and their decisions as to what was right and what wrong, should carry no less authority than they had once attached to the decisions of their rabbis and scribes. This promise also extends to us. We are authorized to make those practical applications of truth to the conditions and needs of the hour, by which the moral life and tone of men will be raised and purified. And we have made use of this power in the following, among other ways:
1. Abolishing slavery.
2. Raising the status of woman.
3. Securing the education of. children.
4. Advancing the cause of temperance, thrift, industry.
5. Promoting the growth of freedom, and the fraternity of men and nations.In these and similar ways, the general teaching of Christ has been applied to the social and moral conditions of men, bringing out new bearings of familiar principles on human conduct and duty.
Once from the pulpit, at an ordination of elders, the late Rev. M. M'Cheyne made the following declaration. "When I first entered upon the work of the ministry among you, I was exceedingly ignorant of the vast importance of church discipline. I thought that my great, and almost only, work was to pray and preach. I saw your souls to be so precious, and the time so short, that I devoted all my time and care and strength to labour in word and doctrine. When cases of discipline were brought before me and the elders, I regarded them with something like abhorrence. It was a duty I shrank from; and I may truly say it nearly drove me from the work of the ministry among you altogether. But it pleased God, who teaches His servants in another way than man teaches, to bless some of the cases of discipline to the manifest and undeniable conversion of the souls of those under our care; and from that hour a new light broke in upon my mind, and I saw that if preaching be an ordinance of Christ, so is church discipline. I now feel very deeply persuaded that both are of God; that two keys are committed to us by Christ — the one the key of doctrine, by means of which we unlock the treasures of the Bible: the other the key of discipline, by which we open or shut the way to the sealing ordinances of the faith. Both are Christ's gift, and neither is to be resigned without sin."
Every praying man and every praying woman on the globe that lives in the intelligent knowledge of Christ, and employs the spirit and truth of Christ intelligently, just as much as councils, and synods, and conventions, and churches, has this power of the keys. God gives it to every one that desires to have the living nature of Christ in him. Ah! do you not suppose there have been thousands of men, who have gone down through life arrogating this claim, that never opened the door of heaven to one single soul? And yet there have been hundreds of poor bed-ridden Christians whose key was bright with perpetual using, and who, by faith, and example, and testimony, and clarity of teaching, did bind iniquity in the world, by the golden cords of truth, and did set loose, by the same truth, those that were bound, giving them power of spiritual insight, giving them emancipation, and bringing them into the large light and liberty of the children of God. Emancipators of the soul they were — humble, uncrowned, uncanonical, unordained, God-sanctified souls. They knew Christ, and loved Him, and poured out His spirit upon men. And every man that has that spirit has God's keys in his hands, and has authority to bind and loose — to bind lies and all iniquity, and to set loose all those that suffer oppression by reason of spiritual despotism. They go forth effulgent messengers of God's light and the emancipation that goes with it.
It is no mean prerogative; it is past all estimation, indeed, for honour and for dignity, to have the power to open heaven to any soul. If God were to give you the power to go forth, and, touching the earth, to open its fruitful bosom, so that where-ever you pressed your hand or your foot, out there should pour treasures of grain and treasures of fruit; if God were to give you that power which in ages gone by was attributed to Ceres, when it was supposed that she came to earth and taught men the arts of agriculture — what a power that would be. If God had given you power to touch the hidden treasures of metal; to know where iron lies buried; to know where all the veins of gold and silver are; to open up all the treasures beneath the surface of the earth, men would have supposed that that was a great and sovereign endowment — and it would have been great and sovereign in a lower sphere. But how much more noble is it that God has given men the power to develop, not gold and silver that perish, but riches that never fade, that moth and rust never corrupt, and that thieves do not break through to steal — eternal treasures — the immortal spirits of men. But this is the case. God has given authority to every man that lives in the higher realm of truth, to open the eternal realm to those around about him, as an inspired apostle. For you are a lineal successor of the apostle, every one of you that does the apostle's work. And God sends every man that goes forth to carry the Spirit of God to his fellow-men. And it is no small prerogative, no small honour, but a most responsible trust, to have committed to you the keys of life and death; to carry in yourself those influences that shall be a savour of life to some, and a savour of death to others — that shall be a buttress and a wall of defence to some, and a stumbling-stone and rock of offence and destruction to others. How solemn it is that God gives men to be parents in this life, to rear up congregations out of their own loins, to sit in the church of the family, and makes fathers and mothers to be apostles, and gives to them keys, saying, "What you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." It is even so. You cannot free yourself from the obligation. You cannot help it. You are the key-keeper for your children. You are the door-keeper for your own offspring. Take heed, then, how you carry yourselves as parents in your own household — how you administer God's Word. It depends much upon you whether, at last, your children shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, or whether they shall rise to everlasting shame and contempt.
When you are inspired you have the keys. In your sublimest moods, when earth fades into a fleck hardly to be seen, and heaven crowds itself in noble fellowship upon your soul, the whole man is lifted up in an ecstasy Divine. In that hour the church holds the keys. You do not hold the keys because of hereditary descent, or ecclesiastical relationship, or mechanical contrivance, or superior patronage — you hold the keys only so long as you realize the inspiration. And no man can take those keys from you; everywhere the inspired man keeps the keys — in merchandise, in statesmanship, in philosophy, in adventure, in religious thinking, in Christian civilization, you cannot keep down the inspired man.
TopicsAnswering, Evening, Fair, Fine, Heaven, Nightfall, Red, Replied, Sky, Weather
Outline1. The Pharisees require a sign.5. Jesus warns his disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.13. The people's opinion of Jesus,16. and Peter's confession of him.21. Jesus foretells his death;23. reproves Peter for dissuading him from it;24. and admonishes those who will follow him, to bear the cross.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesMatthew 16:2
1449 signs, purposes
9170 signs of times
7552 Pharisees, attitudes to Christ
4855 weather, God's judgment
5853 experience, of life
LibraryOctober 14. "Get Thee, Behind Me, Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23).
"Get thee, behind me, Satan" (Matt. xvi. 23). When your old self comes back, if you listen to it, fear it, believe it, it will have the same influence upon you as if it were not dead; it will control you and destroy you. But if you will ignore it and say: "You are not I, but Satan trying to make me believe that the old self is not dead; I refuse you, I treat you as a demon power outside of me, I detach myself from you"; if you treat it as a wife would her divorced husband, saying: "You are nothing …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
Christ Foreseeing the Cross
'From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.'--MATT. xvi. 21. The 'time' referred to in the text was probably a little more than six months before the Crucifixion, when Jesus was just on the point of finally leaving Galilee, and travelling towards Jerusalem. It was an epoch in His ministry. The hostility of the priestly party in …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Divine Christ Confessed, the Suffering Christ Denied
'When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Phllippi, He asked His disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am? 14. And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Unity of the Church.
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."--Matt. xvi. 18. Too many persons at this day,--in spite of what they see before them, in spite of what they read in history,--too many persons forget, or deny, or do not know, that Christ has set up a kingdom in the world. In spite of the prophecies, in spite of the Gospels and Epistles, in spite of their eyes and their ears,--whether it be their sin or …
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII
The Human Jesus.
God's meaning of "Human": man's fellow--two meanings of word human--original meaning--natural limitations. The Hurt of sin: sin's added limitations. Our Fellow: Jesus truly human--up to first standard--His insistence--perfect in His humanness--fellowship in sin's limitations--hungry, Matthew 16:5. John 4:6-8.--tired, John 4:6. Mark 4:38.--poverty, Matthew 13:55. Mark 6:3.--hard toil, John 19:25-27.--homeless, Luke 4:16-30. Matthew 8:20. Luke 9:58.--discipline of waiting. There's More of God …
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus
Words with a Freshly Honed Razor-Edge.
Now please group these six sweeping statements in your mind and hold them together there. Then notice carefully this fact. These words are not spoken to the crowds. They are spoken to the small inner group of twelve disciples. Jesus talks one way to the multitude. He oftentimes talks differently to these men who have separated themselves from the crowd and come into the inner circle. And notice further that before Jesus spoke these words to this group of men He had said something else first. Something …
S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon—Quiet Talks on Prayer
The Threefold Cord of Jesus' Life.
Think for a moment into Jesus' human life down here. His marvellous activities for those few years over which the world has never ceased to wonder. Then His underneath hidden-away prayer-life of which only occasional glimpses are gotten. Then grouping around about that sentence of His--"I do always the things that are pleasing to Him"--in John's gospel, pick out the emphatic negatives on Jesus' lips, the "not's": not My will, not My works, not My words. Jesus came to do somebody's else will. The …
S. D. (Samuel Dickey) Gordon—Quiet Talks on Prayer
The Important Question
"What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Matthew 16:26 1. There is a celebrated remark to this effect, (I think in the works of Mr. Pascal,) that if a man of low estate would speak of high things, as of what relates to kings or kingdoms, it is not easy for him to find suitable expressions, as he is so little acquainted with things of this nature; but if one of royal parentage speaks of royal things, of what concerns his own or his father's kingdom, his language …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
The Signs of the Times
"Ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" Matthew 16:3. 1. The entire passage runs thus: "The Pharisees also, with the Sadducees, came, and tempting, desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
Twelfth Day. Fidelity in Rebuke.
"The Lord turned and looked upon Peter."--Luke, xxii. 61. Jesus never spake one unnecessarily harsh or severe word. He had a Divine sympathy for the frailties and infirmities of a tried, and suffering, and tempted nature in others. He was forbearing to the ignorant, encouraging to the weak, tender to the penitent, loving to all,--yet how faithful was He as "the Reprover of sin!" Silent under His own wrongs, with what burning invectives did He lay bare the Pharisees' masked corruption and hypocrisy! …
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus
"Take My Yoke Upon You, and Learn of Me," &C.
Matt. xi. 20.--"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me," &c. Self love is generally esteemed infamous and contemptible among men. It is of a bad report every where, and indeed as it is taken commonly, there is good reason for it, that it should be hissed out of all societies, if reproaching and speaking evil of it would do it. But to speak the truth, the name is not so fit to express the thing, for that which men call self love, may rather be called self hatred. Nothing is more pernicious to a man's …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
Edwards -- Spiritual Light
Jonathan Edwards, the New England divine and metaphysician, was born at East Windsor, Connecticut, in 1703. He was graduated early from Yale College, where he had given much attention to philosophy, became tutor of his college, and at nineteen began to preach. His voice and manner did not lend themselves readily to pulpit oratory, but his clear, logical, and intense presentation of the truth produced a profound and permanent effect upon his hearers. He wrote what were considered the most important …
Grenville Kleiser—The world's great sermons, Volume 3
Of Sufferings Be patient under all the sufferings which God is pleased to send you: if your love to Him be pure, you will not seek Him less on Calvary, than on Tabor; and, surely, He should be as much loved on that as on this, since it was on Calvary He made the greater display of His Love for you. Be not like those, who give themselves to Him at one season, and withdraw from Him at another: they give themselves only to be caressed; and wrest themselves back again, when they come to be crucified, …
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer
Of Suffering which must be Accepted as from God --Its Fruits.
Be content with all the suffering that God may lay upon you. If you will love Him purely, you will be as willing to follow Him to Calvary as to Tabor. He must be loved as much on Calvary as on Tabor, since it is there that He makes the greatest manifestation of His love. Do not act, then, like those people who give themselves at one time, and take themselves back at another. They give themselves to be caressed, and take themselves back when they are crucified; or else they seek for consolation in …
Jeanne Marie Bouvières—A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents
Of the Royal Way of the Holy Cross
That seemeth a hard saying to many, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his Cross and follow Me.(1) But it will be much harder to hear that last sentence, Depart from me, ye wicked, into eternal fire.(2) For they who now willingly hear the word of the Cross and follow it, shall not then fear the hearing of eternal damnation. This sign of the Cross shall be in heaven when the Lord cometh to Judgment. Then all servants of the Cross, who in life have conformed themselves …
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ
The Great Confession - the Great Commission - the Great Instruction - the Great Temptation - the Great Decision.
If we are right in identifying the little bay - Dalmanutha - with the neighbourhood of Tarichæa, yet another link of strange coincidence connects the prophetic warning spoken there with its fulfilment. From Dalmanutha our Lord passed across the Lake to Cæsarea Philippi. From Cæsarea Philippi did Vespasian pass through Tiberias to Tarichæa, when the town and people were destroyed, and the blood of the fugitives reddened the Lake, and their bodies choked its waters. Even amidst …
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
Last Journey of Jesus to Jerusalem.
Jesus had for a long time been sensible of the dangers that surrounded him. During a period of time which we may estimate at eighteen months, he avoided going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. At the feast of Tabernacles of the year 32 (according to the hypothesis we have adopted), his relations, always malevolent and incredulous, pressed him to go there. The evangelist John seems to insinuate that there was some hidden project to ruin him in this invitation. "Depart hence, and go into Judea, …
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus
The Preparatory Service; Sometimes Called the Confessional Service.
In our examination of the nature and meaning of the Lord's Supper, we have found that it is indeed a most important and holy Sacrament. It is in fact the most sacred of all the ordinances of the Church on earth. There is nothing beyond it--nothing so heavenly, on this side heaven, as this Feast. Nowhere else does the believer approach so near to heaven as when he stands or kneels, as a communicant at this altar, the Holy of Holies in the Church of Christ. What a solemn act! To approach this altar, …
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church
A Divine Saviour.
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Matthew xvi. 1; John vi. 69.) We meet with a certain class of Enquirers who do not believe in the Divinity of Christ. There are many passages that will give light on this subject. In 1 Corinthians xv. 47, we are told: "The first man is of the earth earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven." In 1 John v. 20: "We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is …
Dwight L. Moody—The Way to God and How to Find It
"If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."--Matt. xvi. 24. Good works are not the saint's sanctification, any more than drops of water are the fountain; but they spring as crystal drops from the fountain of sanctification. They are good, not when the saint intends them to be good, but when they conform to the divine law and proceed from a true faith. Yet the intention is of great importance; the Church has always taught that a work could not be called …
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit
The Foundation of the Church among the Heathen
A.D. 38-45 [Sidenote: A.D. 38] During St. Peter's journey, the course of God's good Providence led him to the sea-port town of Joppa, on the borders of Samaria and Judaea, and there we read that "he tarried many days," a measure of time which is supposed to be equivalent to three years. At the expiration of this time an event occurred which had a deep and lasting influence on the life of the Church of Christ. [Sidenote: Further fulfilment of the promise to St. Peter.] Hitherto no Gentiles had been …
John Henry Blunt—A Key to the Knowledge of Church History
Christ the Son of God.
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. xvi. 16). "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him and he in God" (I. John iv. 15). "And who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (I. John v. 5). In one sense all men are sons of God. In a much dearer sense all Christians are sons and daughters of the Almighty. But the relationship of Christ to the Father is infinitely above this. He is the Son of God. God is …
Frank G. Allen—Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel
Tries to Become a Politician. Fails. Last Act as a Politician. Tries to Join the Southern Army. Fails Again. His First Appointment. Feeling of Responsibility. His
Tries to Become a Politician. Fails. Last Act as a Politician. Tries to Join the Southern Army. Fails Again. His First Appointment. Feeling of Responsibility. His Plan. Text. Analysis of Sermon. Buys a Family Bible. Rules of Life. When I obeyed the Saviour, the brethren urged me to begin at once to preach the gospel. I had been accustomed to making political speeches, and public addresses of different kinds, and they thought I could just as easily preach a sermon as to make a speech on any other …
Frank G. Allen—Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel
Concerning the Sacrament of Penance
In this third part I shall speak of the sacrament of penance. By the tracts and disputations which I have published on this subject I have given offence to very many, and have amply expressed my own opinions. I must now briefly repeat these statements, in order to unveil the tyranny which attacks us on this point as unsparingly as in the sacrament of the bread. In these two sacraments gain and lucre find a place, and therefore the avarice of the shepherds has raged to an incredible extent against …
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation
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