Easter is an opportunity for us to celebrate the greatest event in human history, our Lord’s resurrection from the dead. The New Testament admits that if Christ has not been raised, then our faith is in vain. Boldly it then asserts, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead!” (1 Corinthians 15:20). Most of the early apostles were martyred because they knew the resurrection to be a reality.
Thankfully, in the USA, we don’t need to fear for our lives. There is no excuse for us not to proclaim this truth with our worship and with our lifestyles. Please do your part and help distribute our invitation cards and participate in our Easter Events. Let’s consider it a joy to honor our Lord through our Easter outreach events and celebrations!
In last Sunday’s message I referenced the TV program, Antiques Roadshow. On the program, old stuff some people had turned out to be of great value. I have one antique, a book published in 1636 entitled Clavis Mystica by Daniel Featley, D.D. I wrote to have it appraised, and the bookseller wrote back and told me it is interesting and scarce, but without much commercial value. So much for my get rich quick scheme!
It is essentially a book of 70 sermons preached in the early 1600’s in London, Oxford, and Paris. It is difficult to read because of the old English language, where an “s” looks like an “f” and the spelling is filled with archaic anomalies. For example, wisdom is spelled “wifedome” and soul is spelled “foule.”
In a funeral sermon, preached sometime between 1610 and 1624, Featley shares 11 “infallible rules of wisdom that are… only in the inspired Old and New Testaments.” In these and all quotes I am “translating” the Old English into New. Here are his 11 Rules of Wisdom:
- To receive… the doctrine of salvation, which is the wisdom of God.
- To deny ourselves and our carnal wisdom and bring every thought in obedience to the Gospel.
- To account ourselves strangers and pilgrims here upon earth.
- To know that we are not the lords of our lands, wealth and goods, but only stewards; to account for them and dispense and distribute them.
- To seek the Lord while he may be found.
- To be sure to provide for our eternal state, and to prefer the salvation of our soul before the gaining of the whole world.
- To examine our spiritual state, and inform ourselves truly how we stand in the Court of Heaven.
- To observe to what sins we are most subject, and where we are weakest, to fortify against Satan’s (attacks).
- In all weighty occasions, to ask counsel of God and take direction from his Word.
- To consider the special works of God’s providence in the carriage of the affairs of this world (i.e. life’s circumstances), and to make use of them.
- Lastly, to meditate upon the Law of God all the days of our life.
This is all solid spiritual truth. It is a wonderful reality that the Gospel message has been so faithfully proclaimed throughout the ages. The New Testament speaks about “the salvation we all share” and “the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people” (See Jude 1:3). That faith has been proclaimed faithfully from the first century all the way through today. The messages preached in the early 1600s bear witness to the faithful people in each generation who regarded the gospel as a sacred trust and who shared the word of life with others.
Now the baton in in our hands.