Something Has to Die

Something Has to Die

When we are not getting along with others, the pressing temptation is always to believe that you are just as you have always been, and that they have somehow changed. This is often not true at all, but even if it were true, that does not put you in the right. Perhaps they have changed in that they have decided to stop putting up with your rudeness.

The Holy Spirit does not just come along and fill you with benevolent thoughts. He is a Person, not a shot of joy juice. And the Holy Spirit is the one who applies the death of Jesus to the areas of your life that need mortifying.

It turns out that in order for you get along with others, something has to die.

His Blood is Bibline

He had studied our Authorized Version … till his whole being was saturated with Scripture; and though his writings … continually make us feel and say, ‘Why, this man is a living Bible!’ Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak with out quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God.

—In reference to John Bunyan. Charles Spurgeon, Autobiography, vol. 2 (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1973), 159.

Industrial Grade Sandpaper

[L]iving in believing community is one of the central instruments that a loving God has given to us to prepare us for that great day. Living among fellow sinners, learning how to deal with it properly, is the principal form of industrial grade sandpaper that the Holy Spirit uses on us. But many pietists, including many educational perfectionists, withdraw from that treatment, shrinking from it, and all in the name of maintaining their smooth surfaces. But hiding the rough cut lumber in an unlit shed is not the same thing as sanding.

—Doug Wilson, [Holy Ghost Industrial Grade Sandpaper][]

Hard Fathers, Soft Sons

The father who has a son like this—a son who shames him—must do more than just experience the shame. He must own it. That means that he needs to see how he contributed to the creation of something that appears to be very much unlike him. But this is just a surface appearance. All these years, the father was being hard, not because this was the way he had to be in order to serve his family. He was hard because he wanted to be, because he simply wanted to suit himself. Instead of seeing the trivial differences between himself and his son (e.g. what time they get up in the morning), he needs to learn to see the deep similarities. He has been hard because he wanted to suit himself. And his son has learned the lesson well—not the one about hardness, but the one about the importance of suiting yourself.

—Doug Wilson, Hard Fathers, Soft Sons

Equipped by the Word

The “man of God”…does not give fresh revelation himself, but rather is the man who has the compilation of that completed revelation in his hands. While he is not a prophet himself, he is the heir of the prophets. In other words, he is not limited by the cessation of the prophetic gift because, as it says here, he is “competent” or equipped for every good work. There is no task the minister will be called upon to perform that he is not equipped to perform through the Scriptures.

—Doug Wilson, A Ministerial Tool Chest, commenting on 2 Timothy 3:16

The Walls of Doctrine

We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea. So long as there was a wall round the cliff’s edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries. But the walls were knocked down, leaving the naked peril of the precipice. They did not fall over; but when their friends returned to them they were all huddled in terror in the centre of the island; and their song had ceased

—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 153

In other words, doctrinal walls are good if they keep us safe and free.

It can also be wearisome to have the kids bouncing off the walls, but if the spirit is playful, it is good.