Practical Religion.....The love of God

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    Once again J.C. Ryle has accompanied me to the truckstop....He says I lack many of these qualities and need to work on them. I think he is correct once again.
    I hate when these Old Dead theologians show me my weaknesses and sin...How about you?

    Here is a portion;


    I. Let me show the PLACE which the Bible gives to love.


    I begin with this point in order to establish the immense practical importance of my subject. I do not forget that there are many high-flying Christians in this present day, who almost refuse to look at anything practical in Christianity. They can talk of nothing but two or three favorite doctrines.
    Now I want to remind my readers that the Bible contains much about practice as well as about doctrine, and that one thing to which it attaches great weight, is "love."

    I turn to the New Testament, and ask men to observe what it says about love. In all religious inquiries there is nothing like letting the Scripture speak for itself. There is no surer way of finding out truth, than the old way of turning to plain texts. Texts were our Lord's weapons, both in answering Satan, and in arguing with the Jews. Texts are the guides we must never be ashamed to refer to in the present day. "What do the Scriptures say? What is written? How do you read?"

    Let us hear what Paul says to the Corinthians: "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love--I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love--I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love--I gain nothing!" 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

    Let us hear what Paul says to the Colossians: "Above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness." (Colossians 3:14.)

    Let us hear what Paul says to Timothy: "The end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart" (1 Timothy 1:5.)

    Let us hear what Peter says: "Above all things, have fervent love among yourselves: for love shall cover the multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8.)

    Let us hear what our Lord Jesus Christ Himself says, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34, 35.)

    Above all, let us read our Lord's account of the last judgment, and mark that lack of love will condemn millions. "Then He will say to those on the left: Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in; I was naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not take care of Me." (Matthew 25:41-43.)

    Let us hear what Paul says to the Romans: "Owe no man anything--but to love another: for he who loves another has fulfilled the law." (Romans 13:9.)

    Let us hear what Paul says to the Ephesians: "Walk is love, as Christ also has loved us." (Ephesians 5:2.)

    Let us hear what John says: "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:7, 8.)
    see pt2;
     
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  2. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    II. Let me show, secondly, WHAT the love of the Bible really is.


    I think it of great importance to have clear views on this point. It is precisely here that mistakes about love begin. Thousands delude themselves with the idea that they have "love," when they have not, from downright ignorance of Scripture. Their love is not the love described in the Bible.

    (a) The love of the Bible does not consist in giving to the poor. It is a common delusion to suppose that it does. Yet Paul tells us plainly, that a man may "bestow all his goods to feed the poor "(1 Corinthians 13:8)--and not have love! That a charitable man will "remember the poor," there can be no question. (Galatians 2:10.) That he will do all he can to assist them, relieve them, and lighten their burdens--I do not for a moment deny. All I say is, that this does not make up "love." It is easy to spend a fortune in giving away money, and soup, and milk, and and bread, and coals, and blankets, and clothing--and yet to be utterly destitute of Bible love!

    (b) The love of the Bible does not consist in never disapproving anybody's conduct. Here is another very common delusion! Thousands pride themselves on never condemning others, or calling them wrong, whatever they may do. They convert the precept of our Lord, "do not judge," into an excuse for having no unfavorable opinion at all of anybody! They pervert His prohibition of rash and censorious judgments, into a prohibition of all judgment whatever.

    Your neighbor may be a drunkard, a liar, and a violent man. Never mind! "It is not love," they tell you, "to pronounce him, wrong!" You are to believe that he has a good heart at the bottom! This idea of love is, unhappily, a very common one. It is full of mischief. To throw a veil over sin, and to refuse to call things by their right names, to talk of "hearts" being good, when "lives" are flatly wrong, to shut our eyes against wickedness, and say smooth things of immorality--this is not Scriptural love!

    (c) The love of the Bible does not consist in never disapproving anybody's religious opinions. Here is another most serious and growing delusion. There are many who pride themselves on never pronouncing others mistaken, whatever views they may hold. Your neighbor may be an Atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Roman Catholic, or a Mormonite, a Deist, or a Skeptic, a mere Formalist, or a thorough Antinomian. But the "love" of many says that you have no right to think him wrong! "If he is sincere, it is uncharitable to think unfavorably of his spiritual condition!"

    From such love--may I ever be delivered!


    At this rate, the Apostles were wrong in going out to preach to the Gentiles!


    At this rate, there is no use in missions!


    At this rate, we had better close our Bibles, and shut up our churches!


    At this rate, everybody is right--and nobody is wrong!


    At this rate, everybody is going to Heaven--and nobody is going to Hell!


    Such love is a monstrous caricature! To say that all are equally right in their opinions--though their opinions flatly contradict one another; to say that all are equally in the way to Heaven--though their doctrinal sentiments are as opposite as black and white--this is not Scriptural love. Love like this, pours contempt on the Bible, and talks as if God had not given us a written standard of truth. Love like this, confuses all our notions of Heaven, and would fill it with a discordant inharmonious rabble. True love does not think everybody right in doctrine. True love cries, "Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world!" 1 John 4:1. "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him!" 2 John 1:10
     
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  3. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    pt3;
    Here is where Ryle attacked me;
    Christian love will show itself in a believer's doings. It will make him ready to do kind acts to everyone within his reach, "both to their bodies and souls. It will not let him be content with soft words and kind wishes. It will make him diligent in doing all that lies in his power to lessen the sorrow and increase the happiness of others. Like his Master, he will care more for ministering than for being ministered to, and will look for nothing in return. Like his Master's great apostle, he will very willingly "spend and be spent" for others, even though they repay him with hatred, and not with love. True love does not want wages. Its work is its reward.

    Christian love will show itself in a believer's readiness to bear evil as well as to do good. It will make him . . .
    patient under provocation,
    forgiving when injured,
    meek when unjustly attacked,
    quiet when slandered.

    It will make him bear much and forbear much, put up with much and look over much, submit often and deny himself often--all for the sake of peace. It will make him put a strong bit on his temper, and a strong bridle on his tongue.

    True love is not always asking, "What are my rights? Am I treated as I deserve?" but, "How can I best promote peace? How can I do that which is most edifying to others?"

    Christian love will show itself in the general spirit and demeanor of a believer. It will make him kind, unselfish, good-natured, good-tempered, and considerate for others. It will make him gentle, affable, and courteous, in all the daily relations of private life. It will make him thoughtful for others' comfort, tender for others' feelings, and more anxious to give pleasure than to receive.

    True love never envies others when they prosper, nor rejoices in the calamities of others when they are in trouble. At all times, it will believe, and hope, and try to put a good construction on others' actions. And even at the worst, it will be full of pity, mercy, and compassion.


    I was going to report him to the moderators but they took his side:Cautious:Cautious:Cautious
     
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  4. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    Ouch.....here comes some more;
    I have now set before my readers the true nature of Christian love. I have given a slight and very brief account of what it is not, and what it is. I cannot pass on without suggesting two practical thoughts, which press home on my mind with weighty force, and I hope may press home on others.

    Think, for a moment, how deplorably little love there is upon earth! How w conspicuous is the absence of true love among professing Christians! I speak not of heathen now, I speak of professing Christians! What angry tempers, what passions, what selfishness, what bitter tongues--are to be found in private families! What strifes, what quarrels, what spitefulness, what malice, what revenge, what envy between neighbors and fellow-parishioners! What jealousies and contentions between Churchmen and Dissenters, Calvinists and Arminians, High Churchmen and Low Churchmen! "Where is love?" we may well ask, "Where is love? Where is the mind of Christ?"--when we look at the spirit which reigns in the world. No wonder that Christ's cause stands still, and infidelity abounds--when men's hearts know so little of love! Surely, we may well say, "When the Son of man comes, shall He find love upon earth?"

    Think, for another thing, what a happy world this would be--if there was more love. It is the lack of love which causes half the misery which there is upon earth. Sickness, and death, and poverty, will not account for more than half the sorrows. The rest come from ill- temper, ill-nature, strifes, quarrels, lawsuits, malice, envy, revenge, frauds, violence, wars, and the like. It would be one great step towards doubling the happiness of mankind, and halving their sorrows--if all men and women were full of Scriptural love.
     
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