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crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Schemes and Systems

[i]The author feels it impossible to avow too distinctly that it is an invariable rule with him to endeavour to give to every portion of the Word of God its full and proper force, without considering what scheme it favours, or whose system it is likely to advance.[/i]

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[b]No truth neglected[/b]

Simeon preached what the Bible contains, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible, as he prayerfully and humbly sought to understand it. He would not easily fit himself to a school or a strict system of theology. If questioned, he would certainly have answered that his system was biblical, as loyal as he could to God's self-revelation.

He assented wholeheartedly to the Articles of the Church of England; but he did this because he was convinced that they faithfully encapsulated the truth of divine revelation.

His biblicism emerges at every point in his life and correspondence. He writes: "I love the simplicity of the Scriptures; and I wish to receive and inculcate every truth precisely in the way, and to the extent, that it is set forth in the inspired Volume. Were this the habit of all divines, there would soon be an end of most of the controversies that have agitated and divided the Church of Christ."

It is proper to allow Simeon to speak for himself concerning this important matter. "The author is disposed to think that the Scripture system is of a broader and more comprehensive character than some very dogmatical theologians are inclined to allow; and that, as wheels in a complicated machine may move in opposite directions and yet subserve one common end, so may truths apparently opposite be perfectly reconcilable with each other and equally subserve the purposes of God in the accomplishment of man's salvation. The author feels it impossible to avow too distinctly that it is an invariable rule with him to endeavour to give to every portion of the Word of God its full and proper force, without considering what scheme it favours, or whose system it is likely to advance. Of this he is sure, that there is not a decided Calvinist or Arminian in the world who equally approves of the whole of Scripture...who, if he had been in the company of St Paul whilst he was writing his Epistles, would not have recommended him to alter one or other of his expressions.

"But the author would not wish one of them altered; he finds as much satisfaction in one class of passages as in another; and employs the one, he believes, as freely as the other...." (Horae Homileticae, Preface).

[url=http://www.tecmalta.org/tft353.htm]Charles Simeon[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2008/10/11 9:00Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
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Santa Clara, CA

 Schemes and Systems

Take the Universalists. I have met numbers of Universalists—several here in Sydney. I was going to say that I have less suspicion of the reality of their own salvation than I have of some of yours. At any rate they seem to give such evidence in their daily walk that they commune with Christ that it really makes one wonder where they are. Well now, the Universalists are staggered by the doctrine of eternal punishment. They say “God is love.” “The mercy of God endureth forever.” God is good: how can a merciful, loving God send any to eternal suffering? The Universalist say they cannot both be true: if there is such a thing as eternal punishment, then God can’t be love: if God is love, there cannot be such a thing as eternal punishment. You see what they are doing? They are reasoning: they are walking by logic: they have drawn up their own scheme and system of theology and that which they cannot fit exactly into that scheme, somewhere, well, away with it!

But the Unitarians and the Universalists and the Arminians are not the only ones who are guilty of that. I am sorry to say that it is equally true, in some respects, of many Calvinists. They are unsound when it comes to the gospel. They are all at sea when it comes to the matter of believing. I am not going to keep you very much longer, but listen closely now. There are many Calvinists who say, Believing is an evidence of our salvation, but it is not a condition or the cause of salvation. But, my friends, I make so bold as to say that those who so teach take issue with this Book. Now I want you to turn with me to four passages in the New Testament. I am not asking you to take my word for anything. You turn with me now to four passages in God’s own word. First of all Romans l:16-17—“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.” The power of God unto salvation to whom? —“the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.” Now I have no hesitation whatever in saying to every grown-up person in this room tonight, if you had read that verse just now for the first time in your life, and had never read a page of either Calvinistic or Arminian literature; if you read that verse without any bias one way or the other, it would only mean one thing to you.

Now turn to Romans 13:11—“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” The salvation that is spoken of there is the salvation of the body, the glorification of the believer, the final consummation of our redemption: but what I want you to notice is where the Holy Spirit Himself puts the starting point. “Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” THAT is when it begins, so far as our actual experience is concerned.

Now turn to Hebrews 10:39, and you have one there that is plainer still—that is outside the realm of debate—that has no ambiguity about it: “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” You cannot get around that if you live to be a thousand years old. “Them that believe to the saving of the soul.” The sinner’s believing does have something to do with his salvation: God says so! If you deny it you are taking issue with God. “Believe to the saving of the soul.”

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&order=0&topic_id=15678&forum=34&post_id=&refresh=Go]Chrisitan Fools[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2008/10/11 9:02Profile
itg3712
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Joined: 2008/10/4
Posts: 67


 Re: Schemes and Systems

As I've observed it, the historical story and context of the Bible is often neglected in the Church as the advancement of a theological system is put ahead of showing the bible's redemptive and historical story from Creation and Fall to Redemption and New Creation. Much of the Bible is history or else psalms, proverbs, laments, prayers, expressions of heart, and, yes, law and moral admonition, nested in a historical context. Systematic theologies of the doctrine of God, doctrine of Man, doctrine of Redemption have their place but God wrote His Book as a history and not as a systematic theology text.

It is also true that salvation in the Bible is expressed as a future hope.

"It is good that a man should both HOPE and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD". - Lamentations 3:26

"But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the HOPE of salvation". -1 Thessalonians 5:8


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g

 2008/10/11 9:27Profile
crsschk
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 Schemes and Systems

Quote:
God wrote His Book as a history and not as a systematic theology text.



Your tracking with me ... Have a few more for consideration, though they may seem somewhat divergent. The two words just began to stand out largely and from observance it seems that many are trapped into seeing everything through these filters - an inverted form of what 'fit's' into a system or scheme of things. One of the notions running around in the cranium has been the exceptions to the rule or 'system' that has been created, but I digress ...


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Mike Balog

 2008/10/11 10:15Profile
crsschk
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 Schemes and Systems

But now arises another question. Is this crucifixion with our consent, or against our consent? To this I answer that it is partly voluntary, and partly involuntary. We may illustrate this by the example of Peter. The Lord said to him, "The truth is, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked and go wherever you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will direct you and take you where you don't want to go." (John 21:18.) The Lord was here referring to Peter's crucifixion. Do we not see from this that Peter would shrink from being crucified, but that he would be carried to the cross against his will? Yet we read in ecclesiastical history, that when that time arrived, Peter begged of his executioners to crucify him with his head downwards, because he could not bear to die in the same posture with his crucified Lord. Thus we see in the actual, literal crucifixion of one of the Lord's most highly favored followers, there was a shrinking from the cross, and yet a submission to it. "The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak." The natural "I" was unwilling, the spiritual "I" was willing.

So it is with us in a spiritual sense. The coward flesh rebels against, and cries out under the nails of crucifixion; but the spirit submits, and, when favored by divine help, counts itself unworthy of such an honor and such a blessing. But no man ever spiritually crucified his own flesh. This is God's work, who in so doing spares not for our crying. Perhaps we are hugging close some bosom idol, some secret lust, some rising ambition, some covetous plan, or pleasing prospect. This may be as dear to us almost as our natural life. Can we then drive through it the crucifying nails? Or if we could, would that crucify it? No. God himself must take it with his own hand, and drive through it the nails of crucifixion; yes, and so drive them through this worldly spirit, this covetous heart, this proud, unbending mind, this self-righteous, self-pleasing, self-exalting affection, this deceptive, delusive, soul-destroying, fleshly religion, that it may ever after live a dying life. It is he, not you, who thus crucifies it, that its hands can no more move to execute its designs than the hands of a man nailed upon a cross, and its feet no more walk in the plan projected than the feet of a crucified man can come down from the cross and walk abroad in the world. Here is God taking your darling schemes, your favorite projects, your anticipated delights, so that they become to you dying, bleeding, gasping objects.

Have you not again and again experienced this in providence? Have not all your airy castles been hurled down, your prospects in life blighted, your hopes laid low, your projects disappointed, in a word, all your schemes and plans to get on in life so nailed to the cross that they could move neither hands nor feet, but kept dying away by a slow, painful, and lingering death? But did you approve of all this? Very far from it; but you were in God's hands, and could not fight against his cutting strokes. Thus, then, you have a proof in yourself that your worldly schemes and projects were taken by the hand of God, contrary to your wish, for you loved them too dearly to part with them, but were as if torn from your bosom by God's relentless hand, and nailed to the cross, not by you but by him.

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=2775]Crucifixion with Christ[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2008/10/11 10:16Profile
crsschk
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 Schemes and Systems

[b]THE BARENESS OF BUSYNESS[/b]

Don Currin relates in a recent article on the theme of "The Tragedy of Substituting Work for Worship" and gives two very strong examples of this in this article that is of vast utmost importance for us to hear:

Satan called a worldwide convention. In the opening address to his evil spirits he said, "We can't keep true Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from having conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience with Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to church, read their Bibles, and have their conservative lifestyles, but steal their time so they do not have time to have an intimate fellowship with Christ. This is what I want you to do: keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds." How tragic it is that the devil has been so successful in getting so many believers to overextend themselves today in this world's pursuits to the neglect of fellowship with Christ.

Hudson Taylor warned of the danger of allowing the demands of this life to keep us from maintaining the vineyard of our fellowship with Christ. Our attention is here drawn to a danger which is preeminently one of this day: the intense activity of our times may lead to zeal in service, to the neglect of personal communion. Such neglect will not only lessen the value of the service, but tend to incapacitate us for the higher service. Let us never forget that what we are is more important than what we do, and that all fruit when not abiding in Christ must be fruit of the flesh and not the Spirit. As wounds when healed often leave a scar, so the sin of the neglected communion may be forgiven and yet the effect remain permanently. The story is told about a spring whose waters had certain medicinal properties so that those who drank from it were helped in the cases of various infirmities. In the course of time, homes sprung up around the spring. Later, a hotel was built, then stores of all kinds. Eventually, a town grew into a city! Years passed. Then there came a day when visiting tourists would ask, "By the way, where is the spring from which this grew?" Dwellers of the city would rub their hands in embarrassment and say, "I am sorry that I cannot tell you, but, somehow, in the midst of all our progress and improvement we lost the spring and no one knows where it is."

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=19568]Busy, Strong And Without God[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2008/10/11 15:26Profile
crsschk
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 Re: ‘The Luther of Cambridge’

[i]Edit[/i]. Problem with formating earlier ...

An excerpt:

[i]To him the gifts of the Spirit were nothing less than His graces by which the regenerated person is transformed into Christ-likeness. On being asked, ‘What is a spiritual man?’, he replied that he was one with ‘a sense of his own sinfulness . . . by an influence from above’.[/i]

[url=http://www.churchsociety.org/churchman/documents/Cman_102_2_Bennett.pdf]Charles Simeon: Prince of Evangelicals[/url]


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Mike Balog

 2008/11/20 9:10Profile
ginnyrose
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 Re: Schemes and Systems

Mike, this article and the others following are loaded, profound. But for the moment I would like to comment on this statement:

Quote:
so may truths apparently opposite be perfectly reconcilable with each other and equally subserve the purposes of God in the accomplishment of man's salvation.



I have become more aware of this very thing in recent years: how can this be true if that is true? and how will you connect the dots here? Won't fit!

Consider Jeremiah 31: 33-34: "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least, of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Brother Paul repeats these verses in Hebrews 8:11.

Now how do you mesh this with the great commission given by Jesus as recorded in Matthew 28: 19-20? For my own satisfaction I have concluded that the great commission is just as much for the person going as it is for the the heathen/pagan. (Have we not heard how Jesus has revealed himself to heathens without benefit of any ministry of any missionary?)

I am learning more and more that while Scripture teaches us much, much remains unsaid and for some reason it is not essential for us to know that - eternity will explain that if we still insist on knowing, but I suspect that by that time it won't matter...and in the meantime, obedience is the order for the day...

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2008/11/20 10:17Profile





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