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1997 Issue 3

In this message we continue studying in the section of Deuteronomy which gives application to the Eighth Commandment: "Thou shalt not steal." In our last message we dealt with two forms of theft outlined by Moses in verses 15-18: The theft of freedom and theft from God. In this message we will be skipping verses 19-20 with only a few brief comments. This is because earlier in Deuteronomy 15 we dealt with the idea involved in verses 19 and 20. Although there it was given another application under the fourth commandment.

In chapters four and five Luke has been establishing "the progressive Messianic self-revelation" and the sovereignty of Jesus Christ for His non-Jewish readers. "In the Sermon on the Mount the Messianic self-revelation continues to proceed majestically, for in it He acts with absolute authority as Announcer of 'the laws of the kingdom.' He proclaims this not on the ground of someone else's authority, and does not even say as the prophets of the Old Testament did: 'Thus saith the lord.' No, in a way in which no man ever spoke before He speaks with a final, personal, divine authority. He is one with the Father and therefore He declares that the weal or woe of human life in the last analysis depends on the attitude adopted toward Himself and His words." - Geldenhuys

"The Reformation...was a pastoral care movement growing directly out of care for the salvation of the soul." - Ronald Wallace

Though Calvin is best known for his Institutes and Commentaries, his desire to be a faithful pastor of God's people was perhaps the driving motivation of his ministry. Calvin's high estimation of the pastorate was evident when he wrote, "For neither the light and heat of the sun, nor food and drink, are so necessary to nourish and sustain the present life as the apostolic and pastoral office is necessary to preserve the church on earth." (IV:3:2)

As it turned out, 1787 was the perfect time for such an effort. Catherine Bowen explains: Actually, it was the one moment, the one stroke of the continental clock when such an experiment had a chance to succeed. Five years earlier - and the states would not have been ready. Since then the creation and operation of their own state constitutions had taught them, prepared them. Five years later and the French Revolution, with its violence and blood, would have slowed the states into caution, dividing them (as indeed it divided them) into opposing ideological camps. (Ibid., p. 135)

Beric the Briton: A Story Of the Roman Invasion by G.A. Henty.

Long before the Danes invaded England (as chronicled in Henty's The Dragon and the Raven) the Roman army conquered British soil. In this welcomed reprint, Henty lets the reader see the invasion through the eyes of Beric who becomes leader of the Sarci tribe. When the Romans defeated the Sarci, youthful Beric is taken by the Romans and trained in Roman ways. Upon his return home he applies his new knowledge of fighting to the men he trains for battle. Such training leads to the sack of the Roman city of Camalodunum.

Life of John Calvin: A Study in the Shaping of Western Culture by Alister E. McGrath.

John Calvin's life merits study not only because of how God used him in his life but also because of his lasting influence since then. The author provides the reader with a biography of Calvin and also a study of his impact on western culture. Due to a lack of written records, mystery surrounds Calvin's early education and his conversion. The author draws his own conclusions from his study of available material. Such conclusions are reasonable and provide a plausible understanding of Calvin's early years.

Who was it that wept? That the children of men should frequently be in tears, is nothing strange: this world is a place of sin, and therefore it is no wonder that it is also a place of weeping. Sin and sorrow must be companions. But what shall we say when we read that Jesus wept? Was it not strange that he, who was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners," should be in tears? How astonishing that he, who is truly God, should be capable of real weeping? Perhaps it was on this account, that they who divided the Bible into verses, placed these two words by themselves, to intimate how remarkable the expression is; and that in reading, we might not hastily pass over the wonderful fact, but that we should pause, consider, admire and adore.