Tim Challies – The Duty of Devotion

B.B. Warfield has gone down in history as one of America’s great theologians, and for good reason. He was a bulwark of orthodoxy against the rising tide of liberalism. Even a century after his death, many of his works are as powerful and relevant as the day they were written. Yet while he is known for his keen intellect and profound theological insights, he was also a man of tender affection.

Soon after his marriage to Annie, the young couple journeyed to Europe together. During this trip, Annie underwent a terrifying experience that resulted in a kind of nervous trauma she was never able to overcome. She returned home an invalid whose condition continued to deteriorate for the rest of her life. Warfield responded to these tragic events by diligently committing himself to her care. For the duration of their marriage, he rarely left her side for more than a couple of hours at a time, and never for longer than necessary. A friend recalls, “I used to see them walking together and the gentleness of his manner was striking proof of the loving care with which he surrounded her. … During the years spent at Princeton, he rarely if ever was absent for any length of time.” Warfield was not only a great theologian but also a great husband.

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John Angell James – As Their Own Bodies

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Ephesians 5:28

man’s children are parts of himself; his wife is himself: “For they two shall be one flesh” (Eph 5:31). This is his duty and the measure of it too, which is so plain that, if he understands how he treats himself, there needs nothing be added concerning his demeanor towards her. For “what mighty care does he take of his body, and uses it with a delicate tenderness, and cares for it in all contingencies, and watches to keep it from all evils, and studies to make for it fair provisions, and is very often led by its inclinations and desires, and does never contradict its appetites but when they are evil, and then also not without some trouble and sorrow.” So, let a man love his wife as his own body.

Can it be necessary to apply the force of motives to produce an appropriate attention to such a duty? If so, I appeal to your sense of honor. Husbands, call to recollection the wakeful assiduities and the tender attentions by which you won the affection and the confidence of the woman, who forsook her father and her mother and the home of her childhood to find a resting place for her heart in your attachment. Will ye falsify the vows ye plighted and disappoint the hopes you raised?…That man has disgraced himself who furnishes just occasion to the partner of his days, to draw, with a sigh, a contrast between the affectionate attention she received as a lover and as a wife.

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Michael Boling – John’s Description in His Gospel of Jesus as the “Word”

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The depiction of Jesus as the “Word” by John in his prologue has multifarious purposes. It can be argued that John’s chief purpose is to relate Jesus with the Old Testament theology surrounding the words from God as indicative of divine speech and ultimately to creation itself. Throughout his gospel, John consistently refers to Old Testament terminology so any discussion of the reasoning or sources for John’s usage of logos must begin there in order for this concept to be properly understood.

The Old Testament is replete with discussion of the Hebrew expression of word, dabar. Genesis equates this expression initially with the act of creation and later in a depiction of revelation and deliverance [1]. The immediate nature by which the word of the Lord is employed throughout the Old Testament is consistently annotated in the narrative. Additionally, verses such as Psalm 107:20 describe God “sending forth His word” and the resulting action that took place once God spoke. All of these elements are subsumed within the concept of Jesus as the “Word.”

Carson lucidly outlines the connection between the Old Testament usage of word and John’s purpose by stating:

“In short, God’s Word in the Old Testament is his powerful self-expression in creation, revelation and salvation, and the personification of that Word makes it suitable for John to apply it as a title to God’s ultimate self-disclosure, the person of his own Son” [2].

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Matthew Harmon – How the Minor Prophets Help Us Enjoy Jesus

When it comes to true joy, Jesus was deadly serious. He tells his disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). His words are the key to experiencing fullness of joy in our lives. But the words of Jesus are not merely what the Gospels record him saying. Jesus makes it clear that in some way everything in the Bible relates to him — his life, death, and resurrection, and his message of repentance and forgiveness (Luke 24:44–49).

If we’re honest, though, we can find parts of the Bible confusing, and even boring. We encounter strange customs, different kinds of literature, lists of unfamiliar names, and complicated systems of laws. As a result, we often gravitate toward certain parts of the Bible and avoid the uncomfortable terrain.

But if we believe what Jesus says about our joy in him hinging on the words of God, then we need the whole Bible. To maximize our joy in him we need maximal Scripture. So let’s look at how one often-neglected section of the Bible helps us enjoy Jesus: the Minor Prophets.

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Benjamin Palmer – The Force of Love

Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Colossians 3:19

It is worthy of special notice that, in all the apostolic injunctions, the great duty enforced upon [the husband] is love. In addition to the testimony placed at the head of this chapter, the obligation is more fully expounded in the epistle to the Ephesians: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself…For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church…Let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself” (Eph 5:25, 28-29, 33).

But is not love as much the duty of the wife? Nay, in our philosophy, we would presume to say that it chiefly falls upon her to be the exponent of its mighty power. It is with some surprise that we find it set home upon the conscience of the husband as his paramount obligation, and we cannot rest until we discover the ground of this discrimination…The command to love is clearly designed to comprehend the entire office of the husband with its distinct functions. Are we able to trace the wisdom of the word?

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Tim Challies – What’s the Purpose of…Marriage?

Today I am kicking off a new series of articles that is going to ask the simplest of questions: “What’s the purpose of…?” Though the question is simple, the answers can be difficult and even controversial. We’ll begin with the home: What’s the purpose of marriage? What’s the purpose of sex? What’s the purpose of children? Then we’ll turn to the church: What’s the purpose of the church and its pastors? What’s the purpose of the Lord’s Day and the Lord’s Supper? What’s the purpose of worship and baptism? These are questions that perplex many of those outside the church and just as many within. We will tackle these questions week by week, attempting to put to rest any lies and misconceptions and to bring to the light the divine truth. We begin with marriage.

What’s the Purpose of Marriage?

What’s the purpose of marriage? A brief search turns up a host of answers representing a multitude of worldviews. These answers reveal no end of confusion, but most perspectives can be summarized under two headings.

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D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Loving Your Wife as Yourself

So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. Ephesians 5:28

The husband must realize that his wife is a part of himself. He will not feel this instinctively; he has to be taught it, and the Bible in all its parts teaches it. In other words, the husband must understand that he and his wife are not two: they are one. The apostle keeps on repeating that: “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself…They two shall be one flesh…We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Eph 5:28, 31, 30). That is all true of our relationship to the Lord; it is true also in this other relationship.

I would therefore put it in this way: it is not sufficient for us even to regard our wives as partners. They are partners, but they are more than partners. You can have two men in business who are partners, but that is not the analogy. The analogy goes higher than that. It is not a question of partnership, though it includes that idea. There is another phrase that is often used—at least, it used to be common — that puts it so much better and that seems to me to be an unconscious statement of the Christian teaching. It is the expression used by men when they refer to their wives as “my better half.” Now that is exactly right. She is not a partner; she is the other half of the man. “They two shall be one flesh.” “My better half.” The very word half puts the whole case that the apostle elaborates here. We are not dealing with two units, two entities, but dealing with two halves of one — “They two shall be one flesh.” Therefore, in the light of this, the husband must no longer think singly or individually. That should be quite impossible in marriage, says the apostle, because, “He that loveth his wife loveth himself.” He is in a sense not loving somebody else, he is loving himself. Such is the difference that marriage makes.

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Geoffrey Kirkland – Instruction and Parenting

Parents all understand Paul’s command to “bring the children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6.4). But sometimes we grow weary in teaching the same old truths on many occasions again and again. Solomon could relate. He said “Hear my son your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov 1:8). All through the Book of Proverbs, we receive many examples of Solomon pleading with his son to hear, listen to, heed, pay attention to, and receive His instruction. For instance, “my son, do not forget my teaching but let your heart keep my commandments” (Prov 3:1). This is a vital and unending part of parenting. As the children grow, we as parents must be deliberate in our teaching and instructing of their hearts. This not only takes place in the discipline room when they’re very small (with simple points of instruction) but as the child gets older, the physical spanking will decrease and the verbal instruction and biblical reasoning with the child will increase. When the child is so young that he cannot articulate or reason with you as the parent, discipline with the rod is the primary means of discipline when he has sinned. But as the child grows, verbal instruction, reasoning from the Scriptures, and helping the child see the desires that rule his heart that cause him to then choose to act, speak, or respond a certain way will then take priority in shepherding them toward Christ.

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Shaun Doyle – Deism and Divine Revelation

What is deism? In essence, it’s a belief in a divine creator of the universe and a rejection of ‘revealed religion’. Deists reject claims that God has revealed Himself to particular people in particular times and places (i.e. special revelation, such as e.g. the Bible or the Koran claim to be). Instead, deists believe the creator is known solely through reason and experience. Deists in the 18th century were the prime movers behind deep time thinking, including James Hutton, the so-called ‘father of geology’ (see St Hutton’s Hagiography). Moreover, the father of uniformitarianism, Charles Lyell, who had a massive impact on Darwin (see Darwin, Lyell and Origin of Species), was also a deist (see Charles Lyell’s hidden agenda — to free science “from Moses”).

There is general agreement among deists that, after the initial creation, miracles never happen and the creator doesn’t ‘intervene’ in the cosmos or human lives. Beyond this, however, there is much diversity among deists about the nature of the creator and how we should relate to ‘it’. However, despite this diversity, the basic attitudes of deism give us a clear way to test the broad ideology. We can ask of it a simple question: is general revelation enough?

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John Angell James – As Christ Loved the Church

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Ephesians 5:25

Observe the sublime and transcendently interesting1 fact that stands amidst the duties of domestic life, as stated by the apostle in the language quoted above, like the sun in the center of the planets — illuminating, impelling, and uniting them all. Every part of this most comprehensive and beautiful passage is inimitably striking. The design of the whole is to magnify Christ’s love to the church; [regarding] this, the moral condition of the church, previous to the transforming work of redeeming grace, is supposed to be that of loathsome impurity; yet, notwithstanding this, He exercises the most tender compassion for her welfare and is not repelled by excessive defilement.

To effect her redemption, [Jesus] does not merely employ the operations of His power and of His wisdom, but surrendered Himself into the hands of divine justice that, as a sacrifice of atonement, He might ransom the object of His regard at the price of His blood. [In this, He manifested] an affection stronger than death, and “which many waters cannot quench” (Song of Solomon 8:7). The ultimate design of this act of mysterious humiliation is to render her in some measure worthy of His regard and fit for that indissoluble union with Himself into which, as His illustrious bride, she was about to be received.

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