Quotes from Thomas Watson

October 27, 2006

Here are some quotes I gathered from Thomas Watson, a puritan, as I studied this week:

On Happiness

It [blessedness] does not lie in the acquisition of worldly things. Happiness cannot by any art of chemistry be extracted here. –Thomas Watson, The Beatitudes, p.25

On Discontent

If a man were crowned with all the delights of the world, nay, if God should build him a house among the stars, yet the restless eye of his unsatisfied mind would be looking still higher. He would be prying beyond the heavens for some hidden rarities which he thinks he has not yet attained to; so unquenchable is the thirst of the soul till it come to bathe in the river of life and to center upon true blessedness. — Thomas Watson, The Beatitudes, p.27

On Blessing (Jesus’ or the World)

Observe how Christ’s doctrine and the opinion of carnal men differ. They think, ‘Blessed are the rich.’ The world would count him blessed who could have Midas’ wish, that all he touched might be turned into gold. But Christ says, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit.’ The world thinks, Blessed are they on the pinnacle; but Christ pronounces them blessed who are in the valley. Christ’s reckonings and the world’s do not agree. – Thomas Watson, The Beatitudes, p.39

On Poverty of Spirit

‘Poor in spirit’ then signifies those who are brought to the sense of their sins, and seeing no goodness themselves, despair in themselves and sue wholly to the mercy of God in Christ. – Thomas Watson, The Beatitudes, p. 42

In Christ

Pastor Mike Walters


Preventing Church Splits

October 25, 2006

Here is a link to some helpful reminders for all pastors.  Unfortunately, church splits are all too common in American church life.  We need to work hard to see the  warning signs and prevent them.

Link to post by Thabiti Anyabwile

In Christ

Pastor Mike Walters


Friday Quotations on Monday

October 23, 2006

Here are a few more quotes from my studies and reading last week.

Taking God at His Word

If you are a non-Christian, ask yourself, what would change in your life if you acknowledged, as the Bible teaches, that there is a God and that he is in charge? What would change in your life if you acknowledged, as the Bible teaches, that he is both completely good and morally pure and that you are not? If you acknowledged, as the Bible teaches, that you are in rebellion against him, no matter how “polite” your rebellion may look? – Mark Dever, Promises Made, pp. 828-829.


The following two quotes are a little “meatier”. You will have to chew them over and think about them, but they offer some wise counsel on what the Church must do to glorify God in a culture that ignores Him.

 

On the need to recover the concept of God’s Holiness in the Church

What has been lost needs most to be recovered – namely, the unsettling, disconcerting fact that God is holy and we place ourselves in great peril if we seek to render him a plaything of our piety, an ornamental decoration on the religious life, a product to answer our inward dissatisfactions. God offers himself on his own terms or not at all. David Wells, God in the Wasteland, p.145.


On Proclaiming the Cross, not searching for what God is doing.

In our rush to identify where God has shown his presence actively, we frequently overlook the biblical assertions that the providential work of God is hidden in the world and that we are called to walk not by sight but by faith, because sin is pervasively present in human nature that human beings will always be inclined to find ways of dominating and controlling the reality of God unless God’s grace redeems them from this proclivity. Unless God specifically grants an individual the power to declare what he is “doing” in the world (as in the case of the biblical prophets), the attempt to name such things is nothing more or less than an attempt at such control. More than that, it actually detracts from Christ’s cross, which is the one thing that the church today is called to declare with assurance and conviction that God has done. – David Wells, God in the Wasteland, pp. 182-183.


The church is called to declare the message of the cross, not to uncover God’s hidden purposes in the world or the secrets of his inner therapy. It is called to tell the world what God has said about its sin, not to guess at what he might be saying through daily circumstances or whispering to private intuition. And it is called to make known the coming judgment. — David Wells, God in the Wasteland, p.185

In Christ

Pastor Mike Walters


Slow Posting Ahead

October 17, 2006

I will not be posting until after October 23rd.  I have family visiting. 

Blessings to you in Christ

Pastor Mike Walters


Friday Quotations

October 13, 2006

Here are some quotes from my studies this week.

 

On Pride and Humility

“At every stage of our Christian development, and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is our greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.”—John Stott

On Holiness and Success

“It is unearthly men that acquire and keep a heavenly influence in the churches; and they acquire it in all the churches of Christ.” (Author unknown, found in Baxter, Directory,xxii)

On God’s Lordship

“For He is not God, if he be not the Creator, and therefore our Owner, our Ruler, and Benefactor, our absolute Lord, our most righteous Governor, and our most loving Father or Benefactor.” –Richard Baxter, A Christian Directory, p.10

 

“God must be absolutely submitted to, and obeyed before all others in the world, and loved above all friends, or pleasures, or creatures whatsoever. For to say, He is my Owner, is to say, I must yield myself to him as his own; to say, I take him for my Supreme Governor, is to say, that I will absolutely be ruled by him; and to say, I take him as my dearest Father or chief Benefactor, is to say, that I am obliged to give him my dearest love, and highest thanks; otherwise you do but jest, or say you know not what, or contradict yourselves, while you say, He is your God.” –Richard Baxter, A Christian Directory, p. 10)

On the necessity of Church Discipline

“But because some persons, in their hatred of discipline, recoil from its very name, let them understand this: if no society, indeed, no house which has even a small family, can be kept in proper condition without discipline, it is much more necessary in the church, whose condition should be as ordered as possible.” –John Calvin, Institutes, 4.XII.1

On receiving and giving correction

“The first foundation of discipline is to provide a place for private admonition; that is, if anyone does not perform his duty willingly, or behaves insolently, or does not live honorably, or has committed any act deserving blame—he should allow himself to be admonished; and when the situation demands it, every man should endeavor to admonish his brother.” – John Calvin, Institutes, 4.XII.2

On fasting

“To sum them up: whenever a controversy over religion arises which ought to be settled by either a synod or an ecclesiastical court, whenever there is a question about choosing a minister, whenever, finally, any difficult matter of great importance is to be discussed, or again when there appear the judgments of the Lord’s anger (as pestilence, war, and famine)—that is a holy ordinance and one salutary for all ages, that pastors urge the people to public fasting and extraordinary prayers.” –John Calvin, institutes, 4.XII.14


Do You Seek Correction?

October 12, 2006

“The first foundation of discipline is to provide a place for private admonition; that is, if anyone does not perform his duty willingly, or behaves insolently, or does not live honorably, or has committed any act deserving blame—he should allow himself to be admonished; and when the situation demands it, every man should endeavor to admonish his brother.” – John Calvin, Institutes, 4.XII.2

We have a responsibility as Christians to both receive and give correction. Unfortunately, we often let the fear of man get in the way of correcting a brother or sister who needs it. Or, we let our pride get in the way of hearing needed correction. Let’s humble ourselves before God and look for the gracious mercy He gives us in church discipline.

In Christ

Pastor Mike Walters


God’s Commands are Good

October 11, 2006

Here is a quote from Richard Baxter regarding the number of duties and directions in his book (and, the Bible):

“every duty and direction is a mercy to you; and therefore should not be a matter of grief to you, but of thanks. They are but like the commands of parents to their children when they bid them eat their meat, and wear their clothes, and go to bed, and eat not poison, and tumble not in the dirt; and cut not your fingers, and take heed of fire and water, &c. To leave out any such law or duty, were but to deprive you of an excellent mercy; . . .”

“. . .Believe it, reader, if thou bring not a malignant quarrelsome mind, thou wilt find that God hath not burdened, but blessed thee with his holy precepts, and that he hath not appointed thee one unnecessary or unprofitable duty; but only such as tend to thy content, and joy and happiness.”

Source: Richard Baxter, A Christian Directory, p.8

How do you view the commands of God? Are they a burden or a blessing? If we truly know God as our loving Father, His commands will be a joy to our soul.

In Christ

Pastor Mike Walters