Quote Friday

17 01 2014

Only once did God choose a completely sinless preacher.

Alexander Whyte

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6 responses

17 01 2014
Susanne Schuberth (Germany)

Hi Fiona,

Hope you are all doing well… 😉

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Q: Was A. Whyte really right?

A: Reading your today’s quote, the following verses popped up in my mind:

11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Col 2:11-15 – KJV)

6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (1 Jn 3:6-10 – KJV)

Yep, it’s all about Him, and about LOVE, isn’t it? 🙂
Personally, I believe that Mr. Whyte was talking about his own sins which defiled his conscience. Men and women who are being accused of their hidden sins often write and talk about sin. Alas, you rarely hear them speak of Christ’s love shown in His death on the cross.
Let us assume that a woman has committed adultery and never revealed her sin to her husband. Wouldn’t she be accused of it until she finally repents and opens her heart before God and their hubby? What would you think about it, as a woman, so to speak?

The freedom of a Christian mainly lies in a clear and pure conscience before God (I am paraphrasing Martin Luther here). Also, we may never forget that Paul said,

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self.
4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. (1 Cor 4:3-5)

“Praise of God”….for having sinned or for having stopped sinning, which pleases the Lord more than anything else?

From hence, what could be better than being in love with our only and righteous judge?
So, if the bride quasi “lies underneath”, that is, continually submits to her Lord whom she loves more than anyone, do we really think she would willingly displease her divine lover with committing a sin which would separate her from His permanent passionate presence in her life?

“Oh, dear Lord, come quickly!”

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Love,
Susanne

17 01 2014
feemaill

Hi Susanne

I have to confess I didn’t think of it at all at that level! I just thought Mr Whyte was saying that while Jesus was the only sinless preacher, God has chosen preaching through sinful beings to be the means of passing on his word to others. God chooses to use us despite our faults and failures. I’m not sure there’s any other motive inferred but I could have the wrong end of the stick!

Hope you’re surviving the wet winter!

Fiona xx

18 01 2014
Susanne Schuberth (Germany)

“God chooses to use us despite our faults and failures.”

Yep, this is my very experience. Just thinking about the time in July 2000 when I heard Jesus’ sweet voice for the first time (audibly) calling me, “You are the bride,” my sinful condition was beyond words. However, God is able to change everyone. His Spirit power is unbelievable. And God is always willing to forgive – whatever.

Surviving the wet winter, indeed, it doesn’t feel like winter at all. Our daughter Sarah just came home with a friend and they both do sweat although the heating is switched off.

All the best,
Susanne

19 01 2014
Susanne Schuberth (Germany)

“…the wet winter”
‘I’m singing in the rain’…having ‘sunshine on my shoulders’ just in case ‘raindrops keep falling on my head’… 🙂

18 01 2014
Susanne Schuberth (Germany)

Just some more additional thoughts, Fiona 😉

No, you didn’t get the wrong end of the stick – not at all 😉 – it was only the other side of the coin.

God chooses sinful preachers/believers/Christians, but He doesn’t want them to remain sinful since they ought to display God’s Love to fallen mankind in order to draw them to Christ. Without love which does no wrong to a neighbour (Rom 13:10), nobody would “see” that God is real. Thus, sinlessness would, rather, mean to always love and forgive, even if Christians are facing death due to their – proclaimed and righteously “lived out” – faith.

Spirit filled preachers throughout the centuries always said that a preacher who has been sent by God will convert sinners to Christ; if not, his profession is of little avail. Of course, God speaks through sinful preachers as well – but not in the same way He reveals Himself through true disciples who have an apostolic ministry, since they (the sinful preachers) lack Christ’s authority which caused – and still causes through those who have been called by Jesus – His (today: their) hearers to be even horrified by His (their) teaching and preaching.

“And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mt 1:22 – ESV)

Alas, both ESV and KJV got it wrong by translating “they were astonished” instead of “they were horrified” as Martin Luther did [German/Deutsch: „sie entsetzten sich”].

So, Mr Whyte was right as to the calling, yet if he had meant preachers could go on living like non-Christians, then he would have been completely wrong. We see, this is always the problem with quotes; they are taken out of context and you can interpret them according to your own opinion.

Moreover, one might have problems to define the word “Christian”. What is a Christian? Is everyone who has been baptized, who belongs to a church – or not – and who says of himself that he were a Christian really a Christian in the biblical sense of the word?

Here I’d like to quote John Wesley who wrote in his commentary on Romans 8,

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Verse 3. For what the law – Of Moses. Could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh – Incapable of conquering our evil nature. If it could, God needed not to have sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh – We with our sinful flesh were devoted to death. But God sending his own Son, in the likeness of that flesh, though pure from sin, condemned that sin which was in our flesh; gave sentence, that sin should be destroyed, and the believer wholly delivered from it.

Verse 4. That the righteousness of the law – The holiness it required, described, ver. 11. Might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit – Who are guided in all our thoughts, words, and actions, not by corrupt nature, but by the Spirit of God. From this place St. Paul describes primarily the state of believers, and that of unbelievers only to illustrate this.

Verse 5. They that are after the flesh – Who remain under the guidance of corrupt nature. Mind the things of the flesh – Have their thoughts and affections fixed on such things as gratify corrupt nature; namely, on things visible and temporal; on things of the earth, on pleasure, (of sense or imagination,) praise, or riches. But they who are after the Spirit – Who are under his guidance. Mind the things of the Spirit – Think of, relish, love things invisible, eternal; the things which the Spirit hath revealed, which he works in us, moves us to, and promises to give us.

Verse 6. For to be carnally minded – That is, to mind the things of the flesh. Is death – The sure mark of spiritual death, and the way to death everlasting. But to be spiritually minded – That is, to mind the things of the Spirit. Is life – A sure mark of spiritual life, and the way to life everlasting. And attended with peace – The peace of God, which is the foretaste of life everlasting; and peace with God, opposite to the enmity mentioned in the next verse.

Verse 7. Enmity against God – His existence, power, and providence.

Verse 8. They who are in the flesh – Under the government of it.

Verse 9. In the Spirit – Under his government. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ – Dwelling and governing in him. He is none of his – He is not a member of Christ; not a Christian; not in a state of salvation. A plain, express declaration, which admits of no exception. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!

(John Wesley’s Notes on the Bible, Epistle to the Romans, chapter 8)

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Particularly John Wesley’s last paragraph on Rom 8:9 hits the nail on the head.

PS
Maybe, in order to clarify the question on how God differently addresses “the average person” versus preachers and teachers who are still sinful [“Off with their head!” – confer Mt 12:34-37 for example], one might check out John Thomson’s impressive article plus comments over there at johngreenview.wordpress.com, 2013/01/16, “chalke-turns-the-grace-of-god-into-licence”.

PPS
BTW, Fiona, it does not rain today. No, the sun is shining and the birds are singing. Or in other words, there’s a little bit of springtime…LOVE IS IN THE AIR (John Paul Young)…Comme au cinéma (mon vieil ami – Alain Delon). For clarification, in English: “My ol’ friend Alain Delon,” as my hubby Paul often said to me in the past…

As a pudding, so to speak, I hope you enjoy the video linked below which was made on Tenerife (Spain) where Paul and I spent our holiday as well. This video revealed a certain part of God’s plan for my life. Thus, it has been prophetic – to me. Therefore, I say, “My old friend, Alain.” 😉

¡Eso es cantar!
English: “That’s [not] what I call singing!” but I like it though.
I love French, even more than English, Italian, Spanish and German [descending order intended]. Listening to this particular language, I have always been melting away “Like ice in the Sunshine” (Beagle Music Ltd.) although I don’t like ice cream at all. Too cold.

Love,
Susanne xx…XX 😉

18 01 2014
Susanne Schuberth (Germany)

PPPS
I know I am being redundant by saying, “some more additional thoughts”. Yet, indeed, that comment unwittingly changed into a blog bomb.
Sorry, Fiona. 😉

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