Monday, March 21, 2011

Pilgrim's Progress: The Just God Justly Justifies

Can you sing with our good friend Hopeful, O' for a 1000 Gallons of Blood to Spill...please read on for explanation.

Fearful of falling asleep in the Enchanted Ground, Christian and Hopeful discuss Hopeful's conversion. Christian now directs Hopeful to explain specifically how the Gospel effected his Spirit, "
This was a revelation of Christ to your soul indeed. But tell me particularly what effect this had upon your spirit."

Hopeful answers firstly:
It made me see that all the world, notwithstanding all the righteousness thereof, is in a state of condemnation.

The secondly:

"It made me see that God the Father though he be just, can justly justify the coming sinner."

Great sentence, the JUST GOD can JUSTLY JUSTIFY the COMING-SINNER! How can this be? How can God be JUST and YET JUSTIFY JUSTLY THE UNJUST?

For answer to this we look back in the conversation where first we see a number of scriptures linked together naturally by Hopeful as he lays out the Gospel he was bidden to believe:
" I thought, I saw the Lord Jesus looking down from heaven upon me, and saying, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31. But I replied, Lord, I am a great, a very great sinner: and he answered, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” 2 Cor 12:9. Then I said, But, Lord, what is believing? And then I saw from that saying, “He that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst,” John 6:35, that believing and coming was all one; and that he that came, that is, that ran out in his heart and affections after salvation by Christ, he indeed believed in Christ. Then the water stood in mine eyes, and I asked further, But, Lord, may such a great sinner as I am be indeed accepted of thee, and be saved by thee? And I heard him say, “And him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37. Then I said, But how, Lord, must I consider of thee in my coming to thee, that my faith may be placed aright upon thee? Then he said, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” 1 Tim 1:15. He is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes. Rom 10:4, and chap. 4. He died for our sins, and rose again for our justification. Rom 4:25. He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Rev 1:5. He is the Mediator between God and us. 1 Tim 2:5. He ever liveth to make intercession for us. Heb 7:25. "

"From all which I gathered, that I must look for righteousness in his person, and for satisfaction for my sins by his blood: that what he did in obedience to his Father’s law, and in submitting to the penalty thereof, was not for himself, but for him that will accept it for his salvation, and be thankful."


3) He did what he did in obedience to his Father's law.

4) Submitting to the penalty thereof, was not for himself but for the one who believe on HIM....and be thankful.

BUT WAIT... there is more. Not only in the short space of our story do we have the GOSPEL succinctly stated, Penal Substitutionary Atonement wonderful described, biblical support detailed, but there is more......

NOW is the sanctifying power of the GOSPEL on display as Hopeful further describes the effects upon his soul.
"It made me greatly ashamed of the vileness of my former life, and confounded me with the sense of mine own ignorance; for there never came a thought into my heart before now that showed me so the beauty of Jesus Christ. It made me love a holy life, and long to do something for the honor and glory of the name of the Lord Jesus. Yea, I thought that had I now a thousand gallons of blood in my body, I could spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus."

Bunyan I love you, I love you for the beautiful description, instruction, and counsel which again and again and again and again once more you pour into my ears and which by grace is sinking all the way down into my heart.
The effect of the gospel upon my soul is:
1) Make me greatly ashamed of the vileness of my former life.
2) Confounds me with a sense of mine own ignorance.
3) So great does the gospel show me the BEAUTY of Jesus Christ.
4) It makes me to LOVE a HOLY Life,
5) And puts in me to LONG to do for the HONOR and GLORY of the LORD JESUS.
6) Longing... IF only I had 1000 gallons of blood, I COULD spill it all for the sake of the Lord Jesus.

The gospel has sanctifying power. Look not to the law for enablement and promise, it's not there. The gospel is the power of God unto Salvation. Rom 1:16.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pericope de Adulterae

You may have previously read or heard the phrase, "Pericope de Adulterae." But what does it mean?

Pericope was defined over at the Theological Word of the Day blog as:
"A single unit of thought in the Scripture. This could comprise a sentence or verse (as in the Proverbs), a paragraph, or a series of paragraphs which makes up one argument or narrative. For example, the story of Abraham”s encounter with the angels and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is one pericope and the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is one pericope. When teaching or preaching the Scriptures, it is considered best to teach one pericope at a time, not necessarily one verse or chapter at a time."

The "
Pericope de Adulterae" is the name given to the narrative regarding the woman caught in adultery found at John 8:1-11. The passage contains some very familiar phrases which have worked their way into our language, and literature, and culture:

Let the one without sin cast the first stone.

Where are your accusers?

Neither do I condemn thee.

Go and sin no more.

Most, or all, modern versions place this "Pericope" in brackets or notate it as not originally part of the gospel John. Now, I like to think, that in the main, I try to avoid contentious topics in this blog, yet I hope my friends bear with me as I register my conviction that this passage is authentic. Sometimes things may not be as they are popularly perceived and we should occasionally be encouraged to look a little closer and to consider a matter more carefully. I believe when considering "Which Greek Text is preferred?" that prior to rejecting passages known to be in use by believers for 1700 years by all, such a further investigation is warranted.

Perhaps you may be lacking access or exposure to the arguments in favor of the Pericope de Adulterae's authenticity and would appreciate the opportunity to dig deeper and consider more carefully. Enough said. If you would like access to "the other side" which is really the traditional side see the three links below. Keep in mind, the matter is much deeper than a few offhand comments by me or those included in the margins of some bible versions, I only hope with the links below to give you a glimpse into a few more facts than you may have been previously aware. Perhaps you will be persuaded to treat with reverent fear any thoughts of lightly dismissing the Pericope de Adulterae in case indeed it is the very Word of God.

First an incredible book, Recensio Synoptica Annotationis Sacrae, by Samuel Bloomfield. (It's not really written in Latin though like good old books includes Latin quotes sometimes with the translation thereof.) This link even includes a button, which, when pushed causes the book to be read out loud. Read from page 274-284. The Link should take you straight to page 274 of Vol III.

The next link is Appendix I from John Burgon's book, Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels:

Finally by the able Edward F. Hills, you will want to page down to item #4 of the link below where the discussion of the Pericope de Adulterae begins.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Recensio Synoptica Annotationis Sacrae

At the right I have added a new collection of links accessing the works of Samuel T. Bloomfield.

Recensio Synoptica Annotationis Sacrae by Samuel T. Bloomfield described as:

"Bloomfield's Recensio Synoptica Annotationis Sacrae is a Critical Digest commentary of collected notes Synoptically Arranged and Annotated in all the books of the New Testament. It is a massive labor and filled with classical references and original annotations. Many years in preparation and the basis of his later Greek New Testament Commentary in two volumes."

The above includes volume 9 which is Bloomfield's Greek and English Lexicon.

Plus Greek New Testament with English Notes by Samuel Bloomfield described as:
"Bloomfield's New Testament Commentary on the Greek Text based on patristic and classical sources. His previous Lexicon and his Recensio Synoptica in 8 vols is the basis of this commentary. He is always instructive and good hermeneutical source for older views on the text.mjm,2010."

I often consult Bloomfield's Greek New Testament. Many times he refers you to his larger work, the Recensio Synoptica. The links have been added to this blog in hopes that it will be for some a convenient reference.

From Wikipedia:

Samuel Thomas Bloomfield (1790–1869), English scholar and Biblical textual critic.

He was educated at Sidney College, Cambridge. Bloomfield published Recensio Synoptica, and doctrinal Annotations on the New Testament (in 8 volumes, 1826). He also edited a Greek and English lexicon to the New Testament, revised and enlarged from Robinson's lexicon (1829); a translation of Thucydides (3 volumes, 1829).

Bloomfield's Greek New Testament has been largely used, both in England and the United States.

I was originally directed to Bloomfield's works by a good friend who also pointed me to Spurgeon's Recommendation in Commenting and Commentaries. Spurgeon writes:

  1. BLOOMFIELD (S. T., D.D.) The Greek Testament, with English Notes; chiefly original. 2 vols., 8va. Lond., 1841 8/6 to 14/-
  2. " " Additional Annotations on the New Testament. 8vo. Lond., 1850. 2./6. We frequently get more from Bloomfield than from Alford, though he is not so fashionable. His notes are full of teaching.
  3. " " Recensio Synoptica Annotationis Sacrae; being a Critical Digest of the most important Annotations on the New Testament. 8 vols., 8va. Lond., 1826. 15/-to 21/-[A considerable part of this work was included in recent editions of the editor's Greek New Testament.] "It would be impossible to convey to our readers an adequate idea of the mass of information which the learned author has brought to bear upon the numerous passages which he has undertaken to illustrate, and we can safely say, that the enquirer will find very few of which Mr. Bloomfield has not given a complete and satisfactory exposition."

Pilgrim's Progress: Still Talking - Still awake

Our heroes Christian's and Hopeful's conversation continues on, as they, fearful of falling asleep in the Enchanted Ground, discuss Hopeful's conversion.

We can learn a great deal from this simple testimony as the wisdom of God through Bunyan's apt pen comes through:

Hopeful: I made my objections against my believing, for that I thought he was not willing to save me.

Christian: And what said Faithful to you then?

Hopeful: He bid me go to him and see. Then I said it was presumption.

I like this, Hopeful thought he had no right to believe that Jesus was willing to save himself. But Faithful says: "GO TO HIM AND SEE." I repeated that to my girls many times this morning. I loved it as we read over. Will he recieve me? I don't know. -- The answer: "GO TO HIM AND SEE." Am I one of the elect? I don't know. Well Go to him and see.

Then in answer to Hopeful's, "I think it would be presumption to go and see" we read:

He said, No; for I was invited to come. Matt. 11:28. Then he gave me a book of Jesus’ inditing, to encourage me the more freely to come; and he said concerning that book, that every jot and tittle thereof stood firmer than heaven and earth. Matt. 24:35.

So with objections resolved, Hopeful tells us he next asked of Faithful - "what must I do when I come to him. " Faithful's answer --- Pray. But read careful the content of this prayer. Not so reflective of the modern "sinner's prayer" to which you may be accustomed.

Then I asked him what I must do when I came; and he told me I must entreat upon my knees, Psa. 95:6; Dan. 6:10, with all my heart and soul, Jer. 29:12,13, the Father to reveal him to me. Then I asked him further, how I must make my supplications to him; and he said, Go, and thou shalt find him upon a mercy-seat, where he sits all the year long to give pardon and forgiveness to them that come. Exod. 25:22; Lev. 16:2; Num. 7:89; Heb. 4:16. I told him, that I knew not what to say when I came; and he bid say to this effect: God be merciful to me a sinner, and make me to know and believe in Jesus Christ; for I see, that if his righteousness had not been, or I have not faith in that righteousness, I am utterly cast away. Lord, I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and hast ordained that thy Son Jesus Christ should be the Saviour of the world; and moreover, that thou art willing to bestow him upon such a poor sinner as I am-and I am a sinner indeed. Lord, take therefore this opportunity, and magnify thy grace in the salvation of my soul, through thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen.


As the Father to REVEAL Jesus.

Make me to KNOW and BELEIVE.

If his Righteousness HAD NOT BEEN.

If I had not faith in that Righteousness. I am UTTERLY CAST AWAY.

MAGNIFY thy Grace in the salvation of my soul.

I'm so thankful to discuss such wisdom with my little girls. May God give us the grace not to waste this opportunity and the reading of such a great work. By the grace of God, I'm humbled by Bunyan once again.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pilgrim's Progress: Talking to Stay Awake

Our two traveler's in order to prevent their falling asleep while traveling through the enchanted ground, purpose to commune together in Spiritual Conversation. Talking with your brother can keep you awake, awake spiritually.

I was struck by this in their conversation:

"Christian: And did you ask him what man this was, and how you must be justified by him?

Hopeful: Yes, and he told me it was the Lord Jesus, that dwelleth on the right hand of the Most High. Heb. 10:12-21. And thus, said he, you must be justified by him, even by trusting to what he hath done by himself in the days of his flesh, and suffered when he did hang on the tree. Rom. 4:5; Col. 1:14; 1 Pet. 1:19. "

Note the next question. It reminds me so much of our study in Romans - primarily Romans Chapter four where we learn that though there is NONE Righteous, yet we can find a righteousness imputed by Faith, the Righteousness of Jesus Christ.

In our Romans study this discovery led to the next question: "But how can the righteousness of another be counted as mine?"

Here is almost the same question from the lips of Hopeful:

"I asked him further, how that man’s righteousness could be of that efficacy, to justify another before God."

And just as Romans Four led us into Romans Five where we learn of the representative work of Jesus Christ, the Federal Headship. Rom 5:19.

We hear the recounting of Hopeful:
"And he told me he was the mighty God, and did what he did, and died the death also, not for himself, but for me; to whom his doings, and the worthiness of them, should be imputed, if I believed on him."

How wonderfully and yet simply into the CHRISTIAN-and-HOPEFUL conversation is the truth of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ made manifest.