The Rev. Melville Scott wrote a book called The Harmony of the Collects, Epistles and Gospels: Being a Devotional Exposition of the Continuous Teaching of the Church Throughout the Year, that was published in 1905. A friend sent me a copy of this book, and it really is a good devotional aid. Below you will see an excerpt of what Rev. Scott wrote on “The Love of the Good Shepherd”, for the Second Sunday After Easter.
Christ our sacrifice and Christ our example are combined in our Saviour’s description of Himself as the Good Shepherd, in Whom are all the qualities of courage, faithfulness, and patience which a shepherd needs, and of Whom every earthly shepherd is a far-off picture and type. He has in perfection every mark of a true Shepherd.
The Eastern shepherd, in lands that are waste and desolate, must often imperil his life in contention with fierce beasts and robbers. Christ did yet more than this, for “He laid down His life for the sheep.” His only care when the wolf came was to safeguard His little flock. His self-devotion arises from His ownership: He will go after the lost until He find it, for it is to Him, “My sheep which is lost.”
As the shepherd knows his sheep with an individual, almost personal, knowledge, so Christ knows His sheep. He knows not merely who are His sheep and who are not, but what they are and where they are. He knows their weakness, “gathering the lambs with His arms, and gently leading those that are with young,” their weariness, their folly. He knows their temptations, their dangers, and their liability to err. He is not cold, nor high, nor distant with them, but admits them into personal intimacy with Himself. They know His voice from the voice of strangers. This union is one of nature, comparable only to the intimacy which obtains between the Father and the Son. They are known by Him as He is known by the Father, they know Him as He knows the Father. This intimacy is the secret of His sacrifice on their behalf.
C. Pastoral Care.
His heart is even wider than His fold: an inward pressure drives Him to seek His other sheep that are scattered abroad, and to lead them to know Him and one another. He desires to be their Leader–“them also I must lead.” Here we meet with the second Sunday thought of “our example.”
Christ is the example of all shepherds who “feed the flock of Christ which He purchased with His own blood,” and who are to be “ensamples to the flock.” He is an ensample to the sheep. He has passed through life and death to mark a path, and His sheep are to hear His voice and follow Him until they meet as “one flock, one Shepherd.”
This is a guitar solo of the Bach piece “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, performed by Per-Orlov Kindgren. I think you will like it as it is quite pretty.
From the Langham Partnership, here is a video of Vaughan Roberts on “Christlikeness in the 21st century”. It is short but Rev. Roberts makes some good points…very much worth the listen.
If you like the thinking and writing of Dr. Albert Mohler of the Southern Seminary (SBC), here is an interesting video where he answers questions from his audience. Questions include:
00:01 What is your reading process?
04:25 Does underestimating the sufficiency of Scripture lead to denying the inerrancy of Scripture?
06:51 If you could tell your 20 year-old self anything, what would you say?
10:53 How would you define the phrase “Christian worldview”?
14:41 What advice would you give to a Christian who is in law school?
18:50 How should Christians reconcile being in favor of capital punishment but against abortion?
25:27 How can more and less Calvinistic Southern Baptists acknowledge differences but move forward in unity?
33:30 How can churches preach and live out racial reconciliation?
38:21 What is your opinion on the current climate debate and man’s role in affecting the environment?
46:33 What do we do if there are no churches in our area that line up with our theology?
53:53 Do you consider the liberal arts a valuable area of study – even in this age of technology?
57:55 How do Christians in the military submit to superiors, protect subordinates, and honor God when it comes to the transgender issue?
This is another in the Annual Moore College Lectures from 2016 where they had Dr. Paul Williamson, who I believe is on their faculty, speak on the subject of death and eschatology. Here is his second lecture, titled “Death, the Ultimate Separation?”
Here is the next in a good series of audio sermons on the Book of Genesis from the Rev. Coty Pinckney of Desiring God Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Its title is Putting Off Obedience and it is based on Genesis 33-34. The sermon text introduces the topic as follows:
How would you define “obedience”?
Suppose I tell my son Matthew, “Collect the trash around the house, put it in the rolling trash container outside, and then roll the container out to the street.”
Matthew says, “Yes sir, I’ll do it.”
Later on I’m in my office and I see the trash truck come up our street – and go right by the house. I look and see our trash container is still up against the house. And I still have a pile of trash in my office trashcan.
So I find Matthew and say, “Matthew, you disobeyed!”
And he says, “No, I just haven’t obeyed YET. I said ‘I’ll do it,’ and I will – tomorrow!”
In that (fictitious) story – did Matthew obey? Is obedience tomorrow the same as obedience today?
My friends, the answer is NO. Delayed obedience is disobedience.
These are very good questions – and you can hear some answers in this message.
If you are seeking a commentary on Ephesians, whether for your own personal study or for teaching others, you might consider the book Ephesians: Understanding God’s Purpose for the Church by Dr. Gregory Brown. This book is now being offered FREE in Kindle format, though I do not know how long it will be free.
The Amazon page for the book says:
Many of the problems plaguing the church today, such as apathy, conflict, spiritual pride, and spiritual abuse, stem from a poor understanding of who the church is in Christ and God’s purpose for her. Whenever we don’t understand the purpose of something, we are prone to misuse it. No doubt the newly founded churches in Ephesus and Asia Minor struggled with a lack of understanding as well and, therefore, were plagued with many of the same issues.
Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians to help them grasp God’s great plan for the church. He calls many of these insights “mysteries”—truths not fully revealed to past generations, but now fully revealed to us. He describes the church as seated in the heavenly realms in Christ. She is one body—including both Jews and Gentiles. She is God’s temple and his masterpiece. She is the bride of Christ and a soldier fighting demonic forces. The more the church grows in her understanding of God’s great purpose for her, the more she will live it out and display his glory. Let’s study the letter of Ephesians together with The Bible Teacher’s Guide.
Ephesians is certainly a profitable book to study and this text could be quite helpful.
From The Gospel Coalition, here is an essay titled 5 Reasons Reformation Anglicanism Is Relevant by Dr. Ashley Null. He begins the essay thus:
The church is meant to be a beacon, marking out the safe path to true wholeness and hope. Sadly, however, the church today often capitulates to the world’s narrative without ever being aware of it. Our preaching can easily reinforce that we are what we do, telling people they must focus on doing things pleasing to God so he will continue to accept them. Yet true Christianity bases all its hope on what God has promised to do in, through, and for us because of his love—not on what we must try to do to earn it.
Here is the core message of Reformation Anglicanism. Forged in a time when the Western church had lost its way, its five characteristics illumine the authentic gospel once again for the 21st century.
Dr. Null goes on to outline these five characteristics in the rest of the essay…read it all.
I came across this song by Sean Rowe tonight and was struck by it – including his voice. To me he sounds like Johnny Cash a little – see what you think.
From the Gospel Coalition’s National Conference (April 3-5, 2017), here is a message by Dr. Don Carson on “The Gospel of Grace: How to Read the Bible, Part 2”. It is based on Galatians 4.