The following is my notes of Garrett Kell’s Sunday Evening Sermon at Capitol Hill Baptist Church on May 27, 2012
In a mission trip to Peru I experienced true, biblical hospitality. It was wonderful to experience this.
For some hospitality is overwhelming because it means we open our lives and that costs us something. Many of us want to be holy hermits.
But what does God’s word say about hospitality?
1. Definition of Hospitality
How would you define it?
The biblical word is very literally translated as a love toward strangers. It is a gospel centered posture of the heart.
Here is my definition:
It is a spirit of service and practical generosity that shows the love of Christ to others. Continue reading
“This water of life is called a river, to intimate to you by what store of the same it is supplied.
All rivers have the sea for their original: “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full;
unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again” (Eccl 1:7).
And so this river of water of life is said to proceed out of the throne, as out of a place where it breaketh out, but the original is the sea, the ocean of grace, which is an infinite Deity. “Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea, into the depth of the sea of thy grace” (Micah 7:19).
Rivers, when they are broken up, do with their gliding streams carry away a great deal of the filth,
which from all parts of the countries through which they run, is conveyed into them; and they carry it away into the sea, where it is everlastingly swallowed up. And, O! the filth that is cast into this river of God! and, O! how many dirty sinners are washed white therein, for by it’s continual gliding away, it carrieth that filth into the midst of the sea.”
John Bunyan, “The Water of Life.” Reflections on Revelation 22:1 “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
It is often objected that the New Testament writers and preachers rarely resorted to anything we would recognize as exposition when they treated Old Testament texts, so why should we be bound to do so when we treat texts of either Testament?
The question is important, and deserves a full essay, even a short book. But for the moment, we should note the following:
(1) In some ways the objection is hard to sort out because, on the one hand, there are relatively few sermons in the New Testament (and then only relatively brief reports of the entire addresses), and yet, on the other hand, we can only guess at how many of the pages of the New Testament began as sermons and were re-written into the books we now have. In other words, it is not easy to make direct comparisons between sermons in the first century and sermons today. For the former we must develop a series of inferential arguments-the stuff of an entire chapter or two. Continue reading
We have great demands, but Christ has great supplies. Between here and heaven, we may have greater wants than we have yet known. But all along the journey, every resting place is ready; provisions are laid up, good cheer is stored, and nothing has been overlooked. The com missionary of the Eternal is absolutely perfect.
Do you sometimes feel so thirsty for grace that you could drink the Jordan dry? More than a river could hold is given to you, so drink abundantly, for Christ has prepared a bottomless sea of grace to fill you with all the fullness of God. Do not be frugal. Do not doubt your Savior. Do not limit the Holy One of Israel. Be great in your experience of His all-sufficiency. Be great in your praises of His bounty, and in heaven you will pour great treasures of gratitude at His feet.
The above post is an excerpt from pg. 12 of Charles Spurgeon’s devotional book “Beside Still Waters.” A meditation of Exodus 16:15 called “This Is The Bread.”
In its primary sense, the word of God is none other than God. This is supported by the first verses of the gospel of John, where it is written that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The bible itself declares that, strictly speaking, the Word of God is none other than God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us.
Therefore, when God speaks, we are not simply given information; also, and above all, God acts. This is what is meant in the book of Genesis, where the Word of God is a creating force: “God said, let there be … and there was.” When God speaks, that which is uttered is also created. God’s Word, besides telling us something, creates something in us and in all creation. That creative and powerful Word is Christ, whose incarnation is both God’s greatest revelation and God’s greatest action. In Jesus, God was revealed to us. And also in Jesus, God overcame the powers of evil that held us in subjection. God’s revelation is also God’s victory.
Anyone who reads the Bible and somehow does not find Jesus in it, has not encountered the Word of God!
Justo L. Gonzalez on Martin Luther’s doctrine of the Word from his book “The Story of Christianity: Volume II – The Reformation to the Present Day” on pages 47-48
“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” (Acts 26:28)
Notwithstanding his bonds, Paul is to be envied that he had an opportunity of addressing himself to kings and rulers, and that once at least in his life he stood before the great master of the Roman world, the Emperor himself. To reach the ignorant who sit on thrones is no mean feat for benevolence. Alas I the gospel seldom climbs the high places of rank and dignity. It is a great act of mercy towards nobles and princes, when they have the opportunity of hearing a faithful gospel discourse. Highly favored was Edward VI. to have such a preacher as Hugh Latimer, to tell him to his face the truth as it is in Jesus; and much favored was Agrippa, though he scarcely appreciated the privilege, to listen to so earnest an advocate of the gospel of Jesus as Paul the apostle.
We ought to pray much more than we do for men in high places, because they have many bewitching temptations and less gracious opportunities than even the humblest paupers. There is less likelihood of the gospel ever affecting their hearts, than of its converting the poor and needy. We should make them therefore specially the subjects of supplication, and then we might hope to see consecrated coronets far more frequently. Continue reading
The following is a section from Richard Baxter’s book “The Reformed Pastor.” A free PDF of it can be found HERE
If the saving of souls, of your neighbours’ souls, of many souls, from everlasting misery, be worth your labor, up and be doing! If you would be the fathers of many that are born again, and would ‘see of the travail of your souls,’ and would be able to say at last, ‘Here am I, and the children whom thou hast given me’ — up and ply this blessed work! If it would do your heart good to see your converts among the saints in glory, and praising the Lamb before the throne; if it would rejoice you to present them blameless and spotless to Christ, prosecute with diligence and ardor this singular opportunity that is offered you. If you are ministers of Christ indeed, you will long for the perfecting of his body, and the gathering in of his elect; and you will ‘travail as in birth’ till Christ be formed in the souls of your people. You will embrace such opportunities as your harvest-time affords, and as the sunshine days in a rainy harvest, in which it is unreasonable and inexcusable to be idle.
If you have a spark of Christian compassion in you, it will surely seem worth your utmost labor to save so many ‘souls from death, and to cover’ so great ‘a multitude of sins.’ If, then, you are indeed fellow-workers with Christ, set to his work, and neglect not the souls for whom he died. O remember, when you are talking with the unconverted, that now you have an opportunity to save a soul, and to rejoice the angels of heaven, and to rejoice Christ himself, to cast Satan out of a sinner, and to increase the family of God! And what is your ‘hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? ’ Is it not your saved people ‘in the presence of Christ Jesus at his coming? ’ Yes, doubtless ‘they are your glory and your joy.’