30 April 2008

Westminster Wednesday 73-75

I hope these brief studies are helpful and open the door to some aspects of the catechism that perhaps you have not considered before. Having said that, let's move on.

Q. 73. Which is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, [Thou shalt not steal.]

Q. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth, and outward estate of ourselves and others.
Q. 75. What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth, or unjustly hinder our own, or our neighbour’s wealth, or outward estate.

Q. 1. What is presupposed in this commandment?
A. It presupposeth that God hath given every man a propriety in his estate, and that no man’s goods are common to others, except by his consent in times and cases extraordinary; Acts 2:44. And all that believed were together, and had all things common.

Q. 2. What is required in this commandment?
A. It requires of every man diligence in a lawful calling, to get and p reserve an estate for his own and other’s good; Proverbs 13:11. He that gathereth by labour, shall increase. Ephesians 4:28. But rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

Q. 3. What else is required in this commandment?
A. It requires us not only to get and keep the things of the world in a lawful manner, but to distribute and communicate them to those that are in want, and not cast them into temptations of sin, or inevitable ruin; Isaiah 58:10. And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: Then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon-day; 1 John 3:17. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

Q. 4. What else is required in this commandment?
A. It requires in every man a public spirit to procure and promote the good and prosperity of others: 1 Corinthians 10:24. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.

Q. 5. What else is required in this command?
A. It requires restitution of all goods, unjustly gotten, or taken from others; Leviticus 6:4. Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, &c. And the restoring of pawns and pledges, when they are due; Ezekiel 18:7. And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, &c. Or things lost, if we can discover the true owners.

Q. 6. What is the first sin forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all cozening and cheating of others in our dealings, and civil commerce with them; 1 Thessalonians 4:6. That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter, &c. Proverbs 26:28. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it, and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

Q. 7. What is the second thing forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all exaction and oppression of our neighbour, by going beyond them, or working on their necessities, or detaining their dues; Leviticus 25:14. And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another; Proverbs 24:28-29. Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause: And deceive not with thy lips. Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

Q. 8. What is the third thing forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all unlawful weights and measures, which is no better than theft in God’s account; Micah 6:10-11. Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable? Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?

Q. 9. What is the fourth sin forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all family frauds by children; Proverbs 28:24. Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, it is no transgression, the same is the companion of a destroyer. Or servants; Titus 2:9-10. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters; not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity, &c.

Q. 10. What is the fifth thing forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all tempting of, or encouraging others to defraud those who have any trust committed to them; Psalm 50:18. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him; Proverbs 24:24. Whosoever is partner with a thief, hateth his own soul, &c.

Q. 11. What is the sixth thing forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids the taking away of another’s goods by open robbery by sea or land; Job 5:5. And the robber swalloweth up their substance. Or clandestinely and privately; 1 Peter 4:15. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, &c.

Q. 12. What is the danger of this sin?
A. It brings men’s souls, bodies, and estates, under the curse of God; Zechariah 5:3-4. Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: For every one that stealeth shall be cut off, as on this side, according to it : I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief.

Q. 13. What is the first instruction hence?
A. Let all that are guilty of this sin repent, and restore, as they expect mercy from God; Ephesians 4:28. Let him that stole, steal no more, &c. Luke 19:8. And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have taken away any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

Q 14. What is the last inference from hence?
A. To excite all, to whom God hath given a competency of the things of the world, that they bless God for keeping them from the temptations of this sin; Proverbs 30:8-9. Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
- John Flavel

26 April 2008

Thoughts on Blogging

Those of us who blog, and there are many reasons for us to do so, ought to give the following on blogging some thought. Abraham Piper observes well when he states, Let the general flavor of your blog be positive, not contentious. If the majority of your content is made up of disagreeing with people, you should question your motives for blogging. If you actually derive pleasure from bashing others, you should just quit. If your blog regularly makes you enemies, that doesn't necessarily mean you're being persecuted for Jesus. It may just mean you're a jerk. Amen. Thus, Sometimes I think I don't have many readers as I don't wish to be contentious which, let's face it, can draw a crowd. Let us all emmulate and praise God for the irenic bloggers that offer Godly, thoughtful & interesting material. I hope we are all in their ranks.

For more on blogging, check here and here.

25 April 2008

Psalm 32 Introspection

Psalm 32
A Psalm of David, Maschil.
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.
5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.
6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.
8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Three questions to ask yourself when reading this Psalm:
Are you blessed?
Are you walking in the Light?
Are you enjoying intimate instruction from God?
A few thoughts from our sermon last Lord's Day at Sovereign Grace Church Cleveland given by Jeremy Hetrick from Pittsburgh. Thanks Jeremy!

23 April 2008

Westminster Wednesday 70-72

Once again we delve into the riches of the catechism with q&a's 70-72 and commentary by John Flavel. Here we go...

Q. 70. Which is the seventh commandment? A. The seventh commandment is, [Thou shalt not commit adultery.]
Q. 71. What is required in the seventh commandment? A. The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbour’s chastity in heart, speech, and behaviour.
Q. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment? A. The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.

Q. 1. What is the duty required in this commandment?
A. The first duty required in this commandment is, the preservation of our own chastity in heart, lip, and life; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour. And Ephesians 4:29. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, &c.
Q. 2. Why must we preserve our own chastity?
A. Because our bodies are, or ought to be the temples of the Holy Ghost; 1 Corinthians 6:15-19. Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? And it is the express charge of God that they be kept pure and clean; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. That every one of you should know bow to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.
Q. 3. What is the second reason?
A. The second reason is, because of the evil of it to ourselves: As, (1.) It injures the body; 1 Corinthians 6:18. He that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. (2.) It levels us with the Heathen; Ephesians 4:17, 19. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord9 that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, who being past feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (3.) Dishonours our names; Proverbs 6:32-33. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman, a wound and dishonour shall he get, &c. (4.) Scatters our estates; Proverbs 5:10. Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy labours be in the house of strangers. (5.) Destroyeth the soul; Proverbs 6:32. He that doth it, destroyeth his own soul.
Q. 4. What age is most incident to this sin?
A. The youthful age is most apt to be drawn into this sin; Proverbs 7:7. And behold among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding. And 2 Timothy 2:22. Flee also youthful lusts, &c.
Q. 5. How far doth this command extend itself?
A. It extends itself to the heart, mind, and fancy, as well as to the body, and external actions; Matthew 5:28. But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Q. 6. What are the usual inducements to this sin?
A. The usual inducements to this sin are, (1.) Idleness and fulness of the creatures; Ezekiel 16:49-50. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom; pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her, and in her daughters, &c. (2.) Wanton gestures; Isaiah 3:16. Moreover, the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks, and wanton eyes, walking, and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet. (3.) Filthy communication; Ephesians 5:4. Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient.
Q. 7. What is the first remedy against this sin?
A. The first remedy, and the most effectual, is, to get the Spirit of God within us, to sanctify and rule us; Galatians 5:l6. Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.
Q. 8. What is the second remedy?
A. The keeping of a strict watch over the heart; Proverbs 4:23. Keep thy heart with all diligence, &c. And over the external senses; Job 31:1. I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
Q. 9. What is the third remedy against it?
A. Deep and serious consideration of the danger of this sin, and what God threatens against adulterers; Hebrews 13:4. Whore mongers and adulterers God will judge. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And how he describes them, Proverbs 22:14. The mouth of a strange woman is a deep pit; he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein.
Q. 10. What is the fourth remedy against it?
A. Prayer; Psalm 119:37. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, &c. And, to evidence our sincerity in prayer, we must study to shun all occasions of this sin; Psalm 18:23. I was also upright before him; and I kept myself from mine iniquity.
Q. 11. What is the first inference from hence?
A. What cause those have to bless God, that have been kept from this sin; though the best ought to be humbled for their heart-pollutions.
Q. 12. What is the second inference from hence?
A. Let it warn parents to do what in them lies to prevent the ruin of their children by this sin, (1.) By filling their heads and hands with lawful business. (2.) By serious admonitions and prayers for them. (3.) By keeping them from vain and tempting company. (4.) By disposing them seasonably in suitable marriage.
Q. 13. What is the third inference from hence?
A. Let those that are defiled with this sin repent seriously of it as David did; Psalm 51:8. Make me to bear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. And apply the blood of Christ by faith; for in so doing it may be pardoned; 1 Corinthians 6:11. And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, hut ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.

21 April 2008

Your Love Is Higher

We sang this during worship yesterday. The lyrics touch the heart and are biblically sound as well.

When I’m weak and when I fail
The power of Your mighty cross prevails
When I’m tried and when I’m pressed
In the shelter of Your wings I find my rest
Oh Lord, Your love is…

Higher than the heights
Deeper than the depths
What can separate me from Your love
Your love is longer than this life
Stronger than death
Jesus, You will keep me in Your love
Jesus, You will keep me in Your love.

YOUR LOVE IS HIGHER by Mark Altrogge. Copyright 1999 Sovereign Grace Praise, a division of Sovereign Grace Music, 7505 Muncaster Mill Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. All rights reserved.

17 April 2008

John Owen's Nine Directions for the Mortification of Sin

I've been re-reading portions of Owen's Mortification of Sin in Overcoming Sin and Temptation edited by Kapic and Taylor. Owen is such a master in this area as he convicts and then blesses the reader. Here are the nine directions:

1. Consider whether the sin you are contending with has any dangerous symptoms attending it

2. Get a clear abiding sense upon your mind and conscience of the guilt, danger and evil of that sin

3. Load your conscience with the guilt of it

4. Get a constant longing for deliverance from the power of it

5. Consider whether the sin is rooted in your nature and exacerbated by your temperament

6. Consider what occasions and advantages your sin has taken to exert and put forth itself, and watch against them all

7. Rise mightily against the first actings and conceptions of your sin

8. Meditate in such a way that you are filled at all times with self-abasement and thoughts of your own vileness

9. Listen to what God says to your soul and do not speak peace to yourself before God speaks it, but hearken what he says to your soul

Ligon Duncan at T4G This Week

This is just too good not to post again here...

I'm envious (in a good way) of those attending T4G this week. I do sincerely pray that each one has been richly blessed by it and return to their churches eager to serve. Check out T4G here and here.

15 April 2008

Westminster Wednesday 67-69

Q. 67. Which is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, [Thou shalt not kill.]

Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.

Q. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.

Let's turn again to my favorite Puritan, John Flavel, for exposition on these questions:

Q. 1. What is the natural order of these commandments in the second table?
A. In these commands God begins with the nearest concern of man, which is life; Job 2:4. Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath, will he give for his life. Next to that his command guards his nearest relative, from whom the best outward comfort is to rise, his wife: Mark 10:8. And they twain shall be one flesh, &c. After that his good name, which is very precious to him; Ecclesiastes 7:1. A good name is better than precious ointment. And then his goods, which support his life; Isaiah 3:1. For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.

Q. 2. How far doth this commandment extend itself ?
A. It prohibits all cruelty, and commands all help, care, and pity, so far as men’s hearts and hands can go, for the relief and preservation of others; Psalm 119:96. But thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Q. 3. Doth this command respect only the outward action, or also the inward passion of the soul?
A. It respects and bridles the inward passion of the soul, as well as outward actions; as hatred, 1 John 3:15. Whosoever hateth his brother, is a murderer, &c. And causeless anger; Matthew 5:22. But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, &c.

Q. 4. Doth this command only respect the lives of others?
A. No; it primarily respects our own lives, and forbids us all things that tend to the shortening and ruin of them; Ephesians 5:29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord doth the church.

Q. 5. How many ways may men sin against this command, with respect to their own lives?
A. A man sinneth against his own life, not only by destroying himself, as the jailor would have done; Acts 16:27. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled; but by refusing food or physic to preserve life, or macerating our bodies with excessive sorrows; 2 Corinthians 7:10. But the sorrow of the world worketh death. Or envy at others felicity; Proverbs 14:30. But envy, the rottenness of the bones.

Q. 6. How are men guilty of murder with respect to others?
A. Murder, with respect to others, may be either with relation to their bodies; Numbers 35:30. Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death, &c. Or to their souls, which is the most heinous murder in the world; Ezekiel 3:18. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die, and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life: the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Q. 7. Is all destruction of another’s life murder in the account of God?
A. No; It is not, if the life of a person be taken away in the course of justice; Genesis 9:6. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed. Or, in a just and necessary war; Judges 5:23. Curse ye Meroz, (said the angel of the Lord) curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Or by pure accident; Deuteronomy 19:5. As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and ligh teth upon his neighbour that he die, he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live. Or in self-defence; Exodus 22:2. If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

Q. 8. Is there no other way of breaking this command?
A. Yes there is: Innocents may be murdered under the form. and solemnities both of justice and religion. So Naboth was murdered by Jezebel: 1 Kings 21:12-13. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: And the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones that he died. And the martyrs by bloody Papists. And this strongly proves a day of judgment; Ecclesiastes 3:16-17. And moreover, I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there, and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: For there is a time there for every purpose, and for every work.

Q. 9. Are duels forbidden in this comnmandment?
A. Yes, they are; for whatever point of honour be touched, or whatever provocation be given, we are not to be our own avengers; Romans 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, &c.

Q. 10. What is the first inference hence?
A. That we have great cause to bless God for his protecting law, and for human laws grounded upon his law for the protection of our lives; Romans 13:4. For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.

Q. 11. What is the second inference hence?
A. That all that are guilty of this sin, have great cause to be humbled and afflicted: For it is a crying sin, Genesis 4:10. The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. Yet not to despair of mercy upon true repentance. Manasseh shed innocent blood, and yet was pardoned, upon repentance; 2 Kings 21:16. Moreover, Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, &c.

Q. 12. What is the third inference hence?
A. Let all men watch against pride, passion, malice, and revenge, the sin of the heart, from which this horrid sin proceeds; Matthew 15:18-19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, &c.

13 April 2008

Psalm 121

Psalm 121

1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

11 April 2008

Great Lakes Brewing

Great Lakes Brewing has a very fine selection of beer. I have the pleasure and privilege of living near the brewery and therefore having the ability to enjoy some of my favorite beer quite regularly. From what I can determine they have good distribution of their beers especially in the surrounding states and as such I just thought I'd share some info on their beer should you come across one of their fine brews in your local pub or grocery store.

Blackout Stout
ABV: 9.0%
ABW: 7.2%
IBU: 85

Burning River Pale Ale
ABV: 6.0%
ABW: 4.8%
IBU: 45

Commodore Perry IPA
ABV: 7.5%
ABW: 6.4%
IBU: 80

Dortmunder Gold Lager
ABV: 5.8%
ABW: 4.3%
IBU: 30

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
ABV: 5.8%
ABW: 4.7%
IBU: 37

Eliot Ness Amber Lager
ABV: 6.2%
ABW: 5.0%
IBU: 35

Holy Moses White Ale
ABV: 5.4%
ABW: 4.3%
IBU: 30

Lake Erie Monster
ABV: 9.0%
ABW: 7.2%
IBU: 92

Rockefeller Bock
ABV: 7.5%
ABW: 6.0%
IBU: 35

Wolfhound Stout
ABV: 4.8%
ABW: 3.8%
IBU: 60

09 April 2008

Change is Constant, Consistency is Critical

I recently received an email at work with the subject line, “Change is Constant, Consistency is Critical.” After reading about some changes in the company and the need for all employees to be consistent in their duties I started thinking that this is just the same for the Christian. Change is part of life as nothing stays the same and the trials in life are a part of change. We go from one trial to another, they may vary in degree of difficulty but there is always some kind of trial - they are constant. Consistency on our part is critical. Praying, reading and meditating on the Word, church attendance and fellowship are duties, if you like, that keep us consistent in our walk and in obedience. But when I think of consistency I think of the Lord’s faithfulness to us. We are so blessed to serve our Lord who remains faithful when we are so unfaithful. Moreover, He loves us no matter what we do. We must remember that we cannot earn His love (shown through His faithfulness). Even at our very best we’re still filthy rags (Is. 64:6). We must be on guard not to fall into some type of merit theology where “if I only do this then God will bless me in this way.” Legalism is a natural tendency in all of us yet it gets us nowhere except deeper into sin. God is consistent every day, every hour, and every moment. Let’s rejoice in that fact and bless the Lord for his faithfulness to us.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

08 April 2008

Seen This? Carl Trueman on Conspiracy Theories

Seen this yet?

Westminster Wednesday 63-66

Here we go....

Q. 63. Which is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is, [Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.]
Q. 64. What is required in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment requireth the preserving the honour, and performing the duties belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.
Q. 65. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of or doing any thing against the honour and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations.
Q. 66. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is, a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.

Our study is from John Flavel:

Q. 1. What relatives are directly and more especially concerned in this fifth commandment? A. All superiors and inferiors are concerned in it; especially, (1.) Political fathers and their children; that is, kings and subjects; Mark 11:10. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, &c. (2.) Spiritual fathers, and their children; that is, ministers, and their people; 1 Corinthians 4:15. For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus have I begotten you through the gospel. (3.) Natural parents, and their children; Ephesians 6:1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. (4.) All civil superiors and inferiors, as husbands and wives, masters and servants; Ephesians 5:22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. And Ephesians 6:5. Servants be obedient to them that are your masters, according to the flesh, &c.
Q. 2. What is the duty of political, fathers, or magistrates, to their political children, or subjects? A. It is to rule and govern the people over whom God hath set them with wisdom; 2 Chronicles 1:10. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people. Justice; 2 Chronicles 19:5-7. And he set judges in the land, throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city. And he said to the judges, take heed what ye do; for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now, let the fear of the Lord be upon you, take heed, and do it, &c. And piety; 2 Samuel 23:3. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. Carefully providing for their souls in every place of their dominion; 2 Chronicles 17:9. And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people. And for their common outward peace and safety; 2 Chronicles 17:12. And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly, and he built in Judah castles and cities of store.
Q. 3. What are the duties of subjects to their rulers? A. It is to pray for them; 1 Timothy 2:1-2. I exhort therefore, that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men: For kings, and for all that are in authority, &c. To honour them; 1 Peter 2:17. Fear God, honour the king. To obey their just laws; Romans 13:1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, &c. And to pay them the tribute that is due to them; Romans 13:7. Render therefore to all their dues, tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, &c
Q. 4. What are the duties of ministers to their people? A. Their duty is, (1.) To feed their flock constantly with wholesome food; 2 Timothy 4:2. Preach the word, be instant in season, and out of season; rebuke, reprove, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. (2.) To be full of bowels of tender affection to them; 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. (3.) To pray for them, Ephesians 1:15-16. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. (4.) To watch over them; 1 Peter 5:2. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, &c. And, (5.) To walk as an example of godliness before them; Titus 2:7. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works, &c. All which duties require their residence among them; 1 Peter 5:2. Feed the flock of God which is among you, &c.
Q. 5. What are the people’s duties towards their ministers? A. Their duty is, (1.) To esteem and love them dearly for their work’s sake; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. (2.) To attend on the word preached by them, as the word of God; 1 Thessalonians 2:13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the word of God. (3.) To pray for them, and the success of their labours; Hebrews 13:18. Pray for us, &c. (4.) Not to receive light and malicious reports against them; 1 Timothy 5:19. Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. (5.) To make a competent and comfortable provision for them; Galatians 6:6. Let him that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
Q. 6. What are the duties of natural parents to their children? A. It is their duty, (1.) To he tenderly, but not fondly affectionate to, and tender over them; Isaiah 49:15. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? (2.) To educate them for God; Ephesians 6:4. And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (8.) To restrain their sins by correction; Proverbs 29:15. The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. (4.) To provide for their livelihood; 1 Timothy 5:8. But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (5.) To pray daily for them; Job 1:5. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morn, and offered burnt-offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts: Thus did Job continually. (6.) To encourage them with endearing language in the way of godliness; Proverbs 31:2-3. The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. What, my son? and what the son of my womb? and what the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
Q. 7. What are the duties of children to parents? A. Their duty is, (1) To obey them only in the Lord; Ephesians 4:1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. (2.) To reverence and honour them; Leviticus 19:3. Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father, &c. (3.) To submit to their reproofs and corrections; Hebrews 12:9. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence. (4.) To provide for them, if they be poor and needy, and we have ability; Genesis 47:12. And Joseph nourished his father and his brethren, and all his father’s household, with bread, according to their families.
Q. 8. What shall children do when parents abuse their authority, by forbidding duty, or commanding sin? A. In such cases children are to obey God, rather than their parents; Acts 4:19. But Peter and John answered, and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you, more than unto God, judge ye. But yet to manage their refusals of obedience with all meekness and humility.
Q. 9. What is the first duty of husbands to their wives? A. The first duty, on which all other duties depend, is cohabitation with them; 1 Peter 3:7. Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them, according to knowledge, &c. And nothing can make this duty void, but a lawful divorce for adultery; Matthew 5:31-32. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery, &c.
Q. 10. What is the husband’s second duty to his wife? A. True and hearty love to soul and body; Ephesians 5:25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Evidencing itself in careful provision for them; 1 Corinthians 7:33. But he that is married, careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife. But especially to their souls, in winning them to Christ; 1 Corinthians 7:16. Or, how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? And building them up in Christ; 1 Peter 3:7. Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered.
Q. 11. What are the duties of wives to their husbands? A. It is their duty. (1.) to be in subjection to their own husbands; Ephesians 5:22-23. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. (2.) To reverence them; Ephesians 5:33. And the wife see that she reverence her husband. (3.) To express their reverence in suitable words and actions; 1 Peter 3:6. Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord, &c. (4.) To be faithful to them; Proverbs 31:12. She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. (5.) To adorn their relation with meekness, and quietness of spirit; 1 Peter 3:4. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Q. 12. What are the duties of servants to their masters? A. It is their duty, (1.) To be faithful in all things committed to their charge; Titus 2:10. Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity, &c. (2.) To honour them in all respectful words and carriages; 1 Timothy 6:1. Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count their own masters worthy of all honour, &c. (5.) To bear patiently their rebukes; 1 Peter 2:18-19. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
Q. 13. What is the first duty of masters to their servants? A. The first duty is to rule over them with gentleness, and not with terror and rigour; Ephesians 6:9. And ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: Knowing that your Master also is in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with him.
Q. 14. What is the second duty of masters to their servants? A. To pay them their wages fully, and without delay; Deuteronomy 24:14-15. Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it, for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it; lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee, And to provide food for them convenient; Proverbs 27:27. And thou shalt have goat’s milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for maintenance for thy maidens.
Q. 15. What is the third duty of masters to their servants? A. The third and principal duty is, to engage them as much as in them lies, to the ways of God, and duties of religion, as Abraham did; Genesis 18:19. For I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, &c. And Joshua, Joshua 24:15. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

05 April 2008

Tartan Day is tomorrow, April 6th

As tomorrow is Tartan Day here in the U.S. I thought I'd provide a few links for those looking for info. What's it all about? Check out the Tartan Day website and the Wikipedia website. And, here is a link the Ohio Scottish Games which my wife and I attend every year. Aye, to the right is a photo of me in a kilt last year at the Ligonier Games in Pennsylvania.
What will you be wearing for the celebration?

01 April 2008

Westminster Wednesday #'s 60-62

This is my 300th post and God willing there'll be 300 more. Thanks for dropping by!!

We continue this week with our study of the WSC with questions & answers numbers 60-62.

WSC 60-62:
Q. 60. How is the Sabbath to he sanctified? A. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by an holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days, and spending the whole Lime in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
Q. 61. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment? A. The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.
Q. 62. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment? A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment arc, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employment, his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the Sabbath-day.

Once again we turn to John Flavel to elaborate on these questions for us:
Q. 1. What is the rest which God requires on the Sabbath? A. It is not a mere natural or civil, but an holy rest, resembling the rest in heaven, wherein the mind is most active and busy in the work of God, though the body be at rest, and the spirit not wearied with its work; Rev. iv. 8. and the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within, and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Q. 2. May not any works of our civil calling be ordinarily done on that day? A. No; it is sinful to put our hands ordinarily to our callings on that day, and God usually punishes it. Nehemiah 13:15-18. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine-presses on the Sabbath, and bringing up sheaves, and lading asses, as also wine-grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day; and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath, unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath-day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.
Q. 3. May we not refresh our bodies by recreations, or our minds by thoughts of earthly business, or discourses, on that day? A. Recreations of the body, which are lawful on other days, are sinful on this day; and all the recreations of the mind allowed on this day, are spiritual and heavenly; Isaiah 58:13-14. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
Q. 4. What works may lawfully be done on that day? A. Christ’s example warrants works of necessity, and works of mercy, but no other; Mathew 12:3-4. But he said unto them, have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him, How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shew-bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but only for the priests. And verse 7. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, &c.
Q. 5. What are the holy duties of the Sabbath? A. The public worship of God; in reading, and hearing the word preached. Isaiah 66:23. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord, Luke 4:16. And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath-day, and stood for to read. And prayer; Acts 16:13-14. And on the Sabbath-day we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made, &c. And receiving the Sacrament; Acts 20:7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached, &c.
Q. 6. Are private duties in our families required, as well as public, on the Sabbath? A. Yes; it is not enough to sanctify the Sabbath in public ordinances, but God requires it to be sanctified in family and private duties; Leviticus 23:3. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
Q. 7. With what frame of spirit are all Sabbath duties, both. public and private, to be performed? A. They are to be performed with spiritual delight; Isaiah 58:13. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, &c. And all grudging at, and weariness of spiritual exercises, is a sin forbidden; Malachi 1:13. Ye said also, behold what a weariness is it, and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts, and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. Amos 8:5. When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat? &c.
Q. 8. What is the first reason annexed to this command? A. The first reason is the sufficient, and large allowance of time God hath given us for our civil callings, and earthly business. Six days in the week is a large allowance.
Q. 9. What is the second reason annexed to this fourth command? A. The second reason is God’s sanctifying and separating this day by a special command and institution for his service; so that to profane it is to sin against an express divine statute.
Q. 10. What is the third reason annexed to this command? A. The third reason is God’s own example, who rested the seventh day from all his works, and blessed this day, by virtue of which blessing we are encouraged to sanctify it.
Q. 11. Is it not enough to sanctify this day in our own persons? A. No; if God hath put any under our authority, their profaning the Sabbath will become our sin, though we be never so strict in the observation of it ourselves.
Q. 12. May we continue our civil employment to the last moment of our common time? A. Except necessity or mercy urge us, we ought to break off before, and allow some time to prepare for the Sabbath, Luke 23:54. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.
Q. 13. W hat is the first inference from hence? A. That we have all great cause to be humbled for our Sabbath transgressions, either in our unpreparedness for it, our want of delight and spirituality in it, or the due government of our families as God requires.
Q. 14. What is the second inference from hence? A. That Christians on the Sabbath-day have a fair occasion and help to realize to themselves the heavenly state, in which they are to live abstract from the world, and God is to be all in all to them.

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