Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Expiration That Causes Inspiration

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 22:21
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by David C. Brand

 

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching,

for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

-2 Timothy 3:16-17 – ESV

Among the greatest works of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, was His  expiration (lit. “breathing out”) upon the writers of Holy Scripture enabling them to prepare those books whereby “the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”  That was the apostle Paul’s message to young Timothy and remains a most significant message for us in the 21st century A.D.  This writer recently found himself reading the background for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous classic.  In this day when we continue to struggle with racial tensions within our American culture, our readers need to know that, according to her own testimony, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin would in all likelihood never have been written were it not for the impact of the Christian Observer upon her life.

When a child between eight and ten years of age, I was a diligent reader of the “Christian Observer,” and in particular of the articles in which the great battle was fought against the slave-trade.  An impression was made upon my mind which will never be obliterated. [1] 

For Harriet Beecher Stowe’s tribute we give thanks to God while we “keep hold of instruction” [2] and “hold fast the confession.” [3]

We live in a day when church buildings are filled with professors of religion who would desecrate rather than consecrate while they mock the flock.  We must listen and heed the words of our Lord Jesus who still speaks through the recorded testimony of the apostles and prophets: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” [4]  Of what then does that Kingdom consist but “righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” [5]  Yes, the Holy Spirit is a real person just as are the Father and the Son. [6] Christians are those who worship and adore the triune God–ever One yet ever three.  Praise to His glorious triumphant name above all names–above all lords!  Indeed there is only one name by which we may be saved [7] and only one Lord to whom we must bow. [8]  No mere earthly ruler falls in this category.  A fallen world, however, will never consider this politically correct.  Notwithstanding, we have the trustworthy promise that:

IF WE HAVE DIED WITH HIM, WE WILL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM;

IF WE ENDURE, WE WILL ALSO REIGN WITH HIM;

IF WE DENY HIM, HE ALSO WILL DENY US;

IF WE ARE FAITHLESS, HE WILL REMAIN FAITHFUL–

FOR HE CANNOT DENY HIMSELF. [9]

We must “put to death what is earthly within us.” [10]  Jesus told his disciples, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” [11]   In response, we affirm with hymn writer Philip P. Bliss:

No darkness have we who in Jesus abide,

the light of the world is Jesus;

we walk in the light when we follow our Guide,

the light of the world is Jesus.

Come to the light, ‘tis shining for thee;

sweetly the light has dawned upon me;

once I was blind, but now I can see;

the light of the world is Jesus. [12]

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About the Author:

David C. Brand has served churches in Washington, Ohio, New Jersey, and Virginia, administered Christian schools in New Jersey and Arizona, served a year in mission work in Seoul,  Korea, and directed ADVOCATE Enterprise <www.advocateenterprise.org>, an educational project, in Ohio.  Best known among the several books he has authored is Profile of the Last Puritan: Jonathan Edwards, Self-Love, and the Dawn of the Beatific published by Scholars Press as part of the Academy Series of the American Academy of Religion, 1991. He and his wife, Marilyn, have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

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Sources.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. 1885. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Or Life Among the Lowly. New Edition. With an Introductory Account of the Work by the Author. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company.  The Riverside Press, Cambridge.

The Holy Bible. (ESV) 2001. Crossway Bibles: Wheaton, IL

Trinity Hymnal. 1990. Revised Edition. Great Commission Publications:  Atlanta, Philadelphia

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End Notes.

[1]. Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Introduction, p. xxi

[2]. Prov. 4:13

[3]. Heb. 10:23

[4]. Luke 12:32

[5]. Rom. 14:17

[6]. John 15:26; 16:13-15

[7]. Acts 4:12

[8]. Acts 10:25-26

[9]. 2 Tim. 2:11-13

[10]. Col. 3:5

[11]. John 9:4

[12]. Philip P. Bliss, The Light of the World is Jesus, pp. 476-477; Trinity Hymnal.

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