To teach the standards of moral conduct that adorn the gospel and insist that our hearers heed them is neither legalism nor pharisaism but plain apostolic Christianity.” Stott, The Challenge of Preaching , p. 35 And what is gospel morality? We could answer from, say, the apostle Paul’s letter to Ephesus, where he speaks of what we have been taught by the gospel, contra to the old way we used to live. But, seeing that the apostles’ teaching was based on the teaching of our Lord, we need to ask, “What morality did Jesus teach?” The answer to that question is simple: the very same morality he taught on Mt. Sinai to Moses: keep the law, which is summarized in the words, “Love God and love your neighbour.” This is why Paul tells us in Romans that the Spirit has been given to us so that the righteousness of the law - which we had avoided and broken - might be fulfilled in us. Jesus was not a legalistic or a Pharisee. He came to save us from our sins, viz. our transgression.
For my fellow fans of Gen. George S. Patton (and Scott's portrayal as well) Through the travail of the ages, Midst the pomp and toil of war, Have I fought and strove and perished Countless times upon this star. In the form of many people In all panoplies of time Have I seen the luring vision Of the Victory Maid, sublime. I have battled for fresh mammoth, I have warred for pastures new, I have listed to the whispers When the race trek instinct grew. I have sinned and I have suffered, Played the hero and the knave; Fought for belly, shame or country, And for each have found a grave. I cannot name my battles For the visions are not clear, Yet, I see the twisted faces And I feel the rending spear. Perhaps I stabbed our Saviour In His sacred helpless side. Yet, I've called His name in blessing When after times I died. In the dimness of the shadows Where we hairy heathens warred, I can taste in thought the lifeb
The Mystery of Godliness [2 Cor. 8:9; Rev. 19:13] With glorious clouds encompassed round, Whom angels dimly see, Will the Unsearchable be found, Or God appear to me? Will he forsake his throne above, Himself to worms impart? Answer, thou Man of Grief and Love! And speak it to my heart. In manifested love explain Thy wonderful design: What meant the suffering Son of Man? The streaming blood divine? Didst thou not in our flesh appear, And live and die below, That I may now perceive thee near, And my Redeemer know? Come then, and to my soul reveal The heights and depths of grace, Those wounds which all my sorrows heal, That dear disfigured face. Before my eyes of faith confest, Stand forth a slaughter'd Lamb: And wrap me in thy crimson vest, And tell me all thy name. Jehovah in thy person show, Jehovah crucified! And then the pard'ning God I know, And fell the blood applied. I view the Lamb in his own light, Whom angels dim
On this day, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, the Epistle reading in the American Prayer Book (1928) is that famous passage from Philippians 2, where we read that, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord. In the Jewish tradition, a child is named at his circumcision (which is why Christians traditionally name their children at their baptism). Thus, Mary's child was given the name Jesus on this day - but what a picture! The name given on this day is the name of him who would save his people from their sins. It is the name of the promised King. It is the name before which everyone - and that means everyone - will bow and confess that he is indeed Lord of all. When Jesus was circumcised, he - as in his baptism - fulfilled all righteousness and was made like his brethren. He continued his act of humility, becoming another son of Abraham, a member of his own covenant with Abraham centuries before. Yet, in this hum