Friday, April 18, 2008

Holiness - Week 7

Today was our seventh class on J.C. Ryle's book Holiness. We reviewed the chapters on Lot and on Lot's wife. It should be noted that we find a level of commendation (not condemnation) of Lot in 2 Peter 2:6-8. Yet, the Genesis account paints the picture of Lot as one who judged his condition by mere externals. Rather than being seen as contradictory, I believe that these passages, taken as a whole, show God's mercy on His people, even when individuals are not living lives up to their calling in Christ.

What many of us found providential on Sunday is that our Pastor, Dan Lewis, preached his Sunday sermon about Lot. We did no coordination of Sunday School and sermon messages. I suspect that God is trying to drive home a point (points) about Lot to our congregation and this "coincidental" overlap of topics was meant to re-inforce the points. If you want to hear the sermon, click here and bring up the sermon for April 13, 2008.

A quote from Ryle regarding Lot:

These are they who get into their heads false ideas of charity, as they call it. They are morbidly afraid of being illiberal and narrow–minded and are always flying into the opposite extreme. They would sincerely please everybody, and suit everybody, and be agreeable to everybody. But they forget they ought first to be sure that they please God.

These are they who dread sacrifices and shrink from self–denial. They never appear able to apply our Lord’s command to "take up the cross" and "cut off the right hand and pluck out the right eye" (Matt. 5:29, 30). They cannot deny that our Lord used these expressions, but they never find a place for them in their religion. They spend their lives in trying to make the gate more wide and the cross more light. But they never succeed.

These are they who are always trying to keep in with the world. They are ingenious in discovering reasons for not separating decidedly and in framing plausible excuses for attending questionable amusements and keeping up questionable friendships. One day you are told of their attending a Bible reading; the next day perhaps you hear of their going to a ball. One day they fast, or go to the Lord’s table and receive the sacrament; another day they go to the racecourse in the morning and the opera at night. One day they are almost in hysterics under the sermon of some sensational preacher; another day they are weeping over some novel. They are constantly laboring to persuade themselves that to mix a little with worldly people on their own ground does good. Yet in their case it is very clear they do no good, and only get harm.

This Sunday's Readings
Chapter 9 - Lot - A Beacon
Chapter 10 - A Woman To Be Remembered

Next Sunday's Reading

Chapter 11 - Christ's Greatest Trophy

Sermon Audio for next Sunday
Please remember that these can be listened to online or downloaded as free mp3s. (courtesy of Still Waters Revival Books in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

Sermon Audio of Holiness - Part 15

Sermon Audio of Holiness - Part 16

Start at 5:40 of Part 15
End at 4:50 of Part 16

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