Michael Sattler (1490-1527)
The following is excerpted from "On Two Kinds of Obedience," a tract written by Michael Sattler. He was also the author of the Schleitheim Confession, which was originally printed under the title, "Brotherly Agreement of Some Children of God." This confession is generally recognized as the first confession of those who were called "Anabaptists" by their persecutors.
Obedience is of two kinds, servile and filial. The filial has its source in the love of the Father, even though no other reward should follow, yea even if the Father should wish to damn His child; the servile has its source in a love of reward or of oneself. The filial ever does as much as possible, apart from any command; the servile does as little as possible, yea nothing except by command. The filial is never able to do enough for Him; but he who renders servile obedience thinks he is constantly doing too much for Him.
by Gilbert Beebe
This article appeared in the Baptist publication, Signs of the Times, on October 15, 1869. Gilbert Beebe (1800 – 1881) was the editor and founder of that publication. With the exception of correcting minor typos, and breaking some paragraphs into two or more shorter ones for the sake of eye appeal, I have not edited the article. —PD
VERY DEAR AND MUCH ESTEEMED BROTHER BEEBE: – Will you please give your views, through the Signs of the Times, on Romans 7:2 and much oblige your brother in tribulation, if a brother at all.
William Brickey. Red Bud, Illinois. September 21, 1869.
Sermon by Martin Luther August 27, 1525
Martin Luther, "How Christians Should Regard Moses," trans. and ed. by E. Theodore Bachmann, Luther's Works: Word and Sacrament I, vol. 35 (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1960), 161-174. This sermon was delivered on August 27, 1525, in Luther's long series of seventy-seven sermons on Exodus preached from October 2, 1524, to February 2, 1527. Either before or after you read this article, you may want to read "Comments on Luther's 'How Christians Should Regard Moses'."
Dear friends, you have often heard that there has never been a public sermon from heaven except twice. Apart from them God has spoken many times through and with men on earth, as in the case of the holy patriarchs Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and others, down to Moses. But in none of these cases did he speak with such glorious splendor, visible reality, or public cry and exclamation as he did on those two occasions. Rather God illuminated their heart within and spoke through their mouth, as Luke indicates in the first chapter of his gospel where he says, “As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old” [Luke 1:70].
by William Gadsby (1773-1844)
William Gadsby was the pastor of the Strict Baptist church in Manchester, England, for 38 years. Today, he is best known for his hymnbook, A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship (better known as Gadsby's Hymns), which he describes as a "selection of hymns [written by Gadsby, Hart, and others] free from Arminianism and sound in the faith." In my opinion, it remains the best collection of sovereign grace hymns ever compiled. In his day, he was also known for his preaching. He preached nearly 12,000 sermons. He also traveled over 60,000 miles, often by foot and helped start forty congregations. The following article is excerpted from his work, The Present State of Religion. I think that anyone might profit from it, but if you happen to think that the Ten Commandments are the believer’s rule of life, you might try answering Gadsby’s questions. Can you?
Dear Sir, Friend G. informs me you wish me to write to you, and inform you what law it is that I say the believer is in no sense under. I therefore write to say (though I cannot help thinking you must know) that it is the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai, commonly called the moral law, or ten commandments, recorded in Exod 20, and hinted at, with its curses annexed to it, in Deut 27. This is the law I intend, and do venture to say that the believer in Christ is in no sense whatever under it; so that it is not a rule of life to that man who is led by the Spirit. As you promised to answer me if I should write to you, I will propose to you a few questions, and I hope I shall do it in the fear of God, and shall expect you to answer them in plainness of speech; and,
1st. If the law is the believer’s rule of life, I shall thank you to tell me what is intended by the letter written by the apostles and elders, and sent to the believing Gentiles, as recorded in Acts 15, and shall expect you to explain the chapter.
by Ron Adair
May 22, 2012
“Those who are sickly you have not strengthened, the diseased you have not healed, the broken you have not bound up, the scattered you have not brought back, nor have you sought for the lost; but with force and with severity you have dominated them. They were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and they became food for every beast of the field and were scattered.” (Ezekiel 34:4, 5 NASB*).
by Daniel E. Parks
A certain seventh-day Sabbatarian recently averred to me that the difference between him and me is this: “I am a Saturday worshipper, you are a Sunday worshipper.” I readily accepted his definition of himself. And I thank him for his honesty in admitting it. But I quickly objected to his description of me: “I am not a Sunday worshipper! Rather, I am a Christ worshipper, and not a worshipper of any day!”
by Mary Ditzel
On October 31, 1517, something happened that changed the world. Do you know what it was? Even the man who did it didn’t know the effect it would have. On October 31, 1517, a Roman Catholic Augustinian monk and priest by the name of Martin Luther (1483–1546) nailed a notice on the door at Wittenberg Castle church in Germany. To Luther, it was a relatively small act. This was the common way of scheduling a debate in those days. But the world has not been the same since.
Excerpted from “Additions to the Church” (based on Acts 2:47: “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved”) preached 5 April 1874
Many of us have apparently become so conditioned by what has become the "norm" that we are suspicious of what seems like a new innovation. Yet house churches are anything but new or innovative. What critics of house churches seem not to have noticed is that houses are the only places mentioned for the meetings of the ekklēsia (the Greek word mistranslated as church in most English Bibles) in the New Testament (evangelistic campaigns were completely separate and occurred in public places such as the temple, synagogues, schools, and simply in the open air).
I once knew a pastor who spoke of house churches as if they were a great evil in the land. He is not alone but, happily, Charles Spurgeon would not have been in his company.