John

Christ Washing the Feet of the Disciples

John 13:1-10

Worship in the Hour that Now Is

John 4:23, 24

(Adapted from a lecture ‘Christian Worship’ at the Haverstock Room, Kentish Town, May 17, 1870.)

One cannot understand the nature of worship without taking into account the new relationship of the worshipper. One must consider the place in which divine grace has put him, as well as his new obligations.

Time was when God had a worshipping nation, a people who stood on the ground of their own responsibility to God. This was the standing fact of Israel who fell as Adam did before. And the conclusion that Scripture draws for all now is, that on such a ground there is and can be nothing but ruin. What really can be more just? Man himself acknowledges that law is a righteous ground, and in fact is ever prone to take it. Israel only did what every other nation in the earth would have done in the same circumstances and what most professors are doing now, because they have not learned the true conclusion from God’s history of Israel.

The mass of souls in the civilized world — in these countries at least — attempt to stand before God substantially on the same ground as Israel did. That is, they take as their rule the law of God, and endeavour, as they say, to shape their conduct according to the law of God, nevertheless looking with a kind of hope to the Saviour, that if there be sincerity they may at last get to heaven, saved then from their iniquities. This is the patent fact in Christendom, as no one can deny. It is found in its most open form in Roman Catholicism, but substantially also in Protestant countries, not being confined to any particular class, creed, or polity. I use the fact as the all but universal position taken by man where he has heard of Christ, even when possessing the word of God in his hand.

Lecture 4 - Worship, The Breaking Of Bread, And Prayer - John 4:10-24

The first and weightiest part of the subject now before us is worship. It most of all concerns us, because it most nearly touches God himself; and this, I am convinced, is the truest criterion, as well as the safest and most salutary for our souls. No doubt the breaking of bread may be included in worship, but it calls for a separate notice, as being of a complex nature and having a distinct aspect toward the saints themselves; whereas worship as such is essentially God-ward. Again it seemed...

Matthew - John

The Gospel According To St. Matthew. The first thing that strikes the mind, as undesirable in an accurate version of the Scriptures, is, that words supplied by the translators, which have no counterpart in the original, should not be designated as such by italics as attempted more or less fully in the Authorised Bible. Dr. Scrivener’s Cambridge Paragraph Bible sought this more systematically, and therefore is happier in this respect. In the Revised New Testament, on the contrary, th...

Unity of the Church in Inspired History

Unity According To The Apostle John

The great truth and privilege of unity appears prominently in the Gospel of John and in the Epistles of Paul; but it is viewed in a different way by these two eminent servants of the Lord, by each subordinately to the purpose which the inspiring Spirit of God had in the work given them respectively to do. In the writings of both, unity supposes and is based on the Lord’s death, as in the gospel of grace and in the church of God. Without the accomplishment of redemption as well as the incarnation not one of these things could be. Every intelligent believer knows what a place the apostle of the Gentiles was led to assign to the work of the cross, whereby God was glorified, the door opened to Gentiles no less freely than to Jews, and the mystery of Christ and the church came into view. But it is no less plain in the Gospel of John, which only the present paper contemplates, though its main scope undoubtedly is to set forth Christ’s personal glory, and the mission of the Holy Spirit to be here in His own on His departure to heaven.

We must all be manifested

2 Cor. 5; John 5

Christ - the Door of the Sheep

Notes of a discourse on John 10:1-10

It is on the latter words of the Lord Jesus in the passage just read I wish to say a little at this time. What did He mean the souls who then heard, or those who afterwards should hear, to gather from the remarkable clause, “I am the door of the sheep”?

There is a change in the employment of the words. In verse 2 He represents Himself as the Shepherd, but does not yet call Himself the good Shepherd. He takes up a well-known figure of the Old Testament in which the kings of Israel were frequently designated their shepherds, the Messiah of course pre-eminently.

In this part of the chapter accordingly He speaks of the sheepfold. There is not as yet an allusion, as in verse 16, to the sheep which do not belong to the Jewish nation: “Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one flock [not, as is familiarly known, “one fold”], one shepherd.” Those who conceive (and it is a general error) that there is now a “fold” go back in heart and mind to Judaism. The Lord has really a flock in immediate relationship to Himself. The Jewish sheep, as He tells us, He would lead out, others not of it He would join with them; and these should form not two companies, but one flock round the one Shepherd.

Born of Water and Spirit - John 3:5

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, owned Jesus as come a teacher from God, and this on the ground of such signs as convinced him that God was with Him. It was a sound inference, based on good evidence and sure; but it was only intellectual. It was not conscience searched by divine truth, nor a soul crying to God because of his sins. “Rabbi, we know,” etc. (ver. 2), says he vaguely; not, “What must I do to be saved?” He was unconscious of his personal ruin, and was what Scripture calls “dead in sins.” The Lord takes higher ground than of a rabbi, and puts Nicodemus on lower ground than a disciple’s. In a form extremely solemn, yet more than that of the great discourse on the mount in the first Gospel, He laid down the prime need of fallen man. His words breathe nothing short of divine authority. He speaks not as the scribes, nor even as a prophet with “Thus saith Jehovah,” but as consciously God: — “Verily, verily, I say to thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (ver. 3).

As a distinguished rabbi, Nicodemus was familiar with the washing of a proselyte, and with the high-flown platitudes of its effect rife in the schools. But he was no proselyte any more than other Jews. Dull as he might be to the truth, and as all naturally are, he saw that much more was insisted on for everybody who was to see the kingdom of God. Figures were all well to elevate common-place; and to this he was used; but if a new and real quickening were meant, how to get rid of the absurdity for a grown man to be born again? The answer is in terms no less peremptory than before: — “Verily, verily, I say to thee, Except one be born of water and Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (ver. 5).

The Comforter

John 14:26; John 15:26, 27; John 16:7-14.

We enter on a sensibly different province of truth, relative to the Spirit of God, in the chapters of which a few verses have been read. It is no longer a question of the new birth, nor yet of the Holy Ghost as the power of fellowship with the sources of grace — fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Nor is it, again, the Holy Ghost as a power that flows from within outwards, giving the true testimony of a world-rejected but heavenly Lord before the hour comes for Him to show Himself, and them along with Him, to the world. These are the three subjects, as far as the Spirit of God is concerned, of John 3, 4 and 7.

The Fulness of Christ - John 1:29-51

The glory of Christ is the central truth of the Bible. Anyone could see His humiliation; Pilate and Herod and the unbelieving Jews, the Roman soldiers, all the multitude did. But the sight of His humiliation was nothing without His glory; and when His glory was discerned, it was the humiliation of the Lord Jesus that filled the heart with shame and with abasement. This always deepens in presence of the love which made One so high to stoop so low; and whatever humiliation was seen in the days of our Lord was only the prelude of a deeper humiliation.

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