1 John P2R, Week 15

In this week’s passage of 1 John we are continuing in the theme of love, with the addition of abiding: God abiding in us, and we abiding in him. This segues into knowing, which leads to seeing and testifying “that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” We then curve back to confession and abiding, which will lead full circle back to love in next week’s passage. And so, this week we have more of a train of thought, even though it circles back to love, rather than a tight spiral of one thought. Continue reading “1 John P2R, Week 15”

1 John P2R, Week 14

This week’s portion of 1 John is again split between two different, but not unrelated, thoughts. Last week John began warning us to not believe every spirit because of the many antichrists that have gone out into the world. We continue with that line of thought now from verses 4 to 6, and so John’s inclination to write in sharp contrasts gives us a lot of “us versus them” language. His entire epistle is a study in contrasts, but verses 4-6 are literally packed with you/them, they/we, them/us. Also in verse 4 we find the familiar encouragement that “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Continue reading “1 John P2R, Week 14”

Church History Lesson 5

(The link to the Burk Parson talk at Ligonier is in the sidebar under Church History)

 

The Puritans Desire to Reform the Church of England

The Puritans wished to see in­stalled in every parish an earnest and spiritually minded pastor able to preach. They demanded the abolition of the clerical dress then in vogue; of kneeling at the Lord’s Supper; of the ring ceremony at weddings; and of the use of the sign of the cross at baptism.

In the clerical dress then in use they saw the claim of the clergy to powers which reminded them of the power of Catholic priests. In kneeling at the Lord’s Supper they saw adoration of the physical pres­ence of Christ as taught in the Catholic doctrine of transubstan­tiation.

Before long they went even further in their demands for the purification of the Church. They wished to see in each parish, elders chosen to exercise discipline. They wished to have the ministers chosen by the people, and the office of bishop abolished. All ministers, they believed, should be on an equal footing. This amounted to a de­mand for the presbyterian form of church government in place of the Episcopalian.

Although the Puritans objected strongly to the episcopal form of church government and to many of the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England, they were strongly opposed to separation from that Church. They wished to stay in that Church and to reform it from within, molding it after the pattern of Calvin’s church in Geneva.

The Separatists or Congrega­tionalists Leave the Church of England

The Separatists were also Puri­tans, but they were radical. They saw that the process of reforming the Episcopal Church of England from within would at best be long and tedious, if not entirely hopeless. They therefore separated themselves from the Church of England and became known as Separatists or Dissenters. In the matter of church government they believed not only that each local church or congregation is a com­plete church in itself; but also that no church should have anything to say about any other church. Be­cause they believed that all local churches should be independent of each other, they were called Con­gregationalists or Independents. All Puritans, both those who re­mained in the Church of England and those who separated from it, were Calvinists in doctrine.

 

A New English Bible Is Ob­tained through Puritan Effort

In 1603 James I succeeded Eliza­beth upon the throne of England. At once the Puritans addressed to the new king a petition in which they set forth some very moderate requests. A conference between bishops and Puritans was held in the presence of the king. No changes in the affairs of the Church desired by the Puritans were granted. But one thing of very great importance was granted — a new translation of the Bible. The result was the King James Bible, published in 1611. This Bible is the translation which has until recent times been in universal use among all English-speaking people. Continue reading “Church History Lesson 5”

1 John P2R, Week 13

This week’s passage for memorization, 1 John 3:23-4:3, includes the end of one train of thought and the beginning of another. By now you may have noticed that the weekly passages aren’t arranged into tidy little segments of a single theological concept. Instead, they are tidy little segments that fit onto the pages of our moleskine journals. That said, they are still in the order which the Holy Spirit inspired John to write, and once memorized as a whole, the page segments will fade into the background and the units of thought will come to the fore.

Our first two verses this week wrap up the flow of thought which began in 3:11: John’s elaboration of the social test that we should love one another. In verse 23, John shows how loving one another goes hand-in-hand with believing in Jesus (the doctrine test), and both fulfill the keeping of God’s commandments (the moral test). In fact, loving one another and believing in Jesus are so mutually dependent that they are essentially a single commandment. John then states that “whoever keeps [these] commandments abides in God and God in him” (3:24). The way that we know that God abides in us is “by the Holy Spirit, whom [God] has given to us.”

Continue reading “1 John P2R, Week 13”