Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Williams: the weakness of the sword

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
    And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
    —2 Timothy 2:24-26 (NIV)
    If the civil magistrates be Christians or members of the church, able to prophesy in the church of Christ, ... they are bound by the command of Christ to suffer opposition to their doctrine, with meekness and gentleness, and to be so far from striving to subdue their opposites with the civil sword, that they are bound with patience and meekness to wait, if God peradventure will please to grant repentance unto their opposites...
    The sword may make... a whole nation of hypocrites; but to recover a soul from Satan by repentance, and to bring them from anti-Christian doctrine or worship to the doctrine and worship Christian in the least true internal or external submission, [is only worked by] the all-powerful God, by the sword of the Spirit in the hand of His spiritual officers.
    ... Roger Williams (1603?-1683), The Bloudy Tenent [1644], London: J. Haddon, 1848, p. 106 (see the book)
    See also 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Matt. 11:29; 1 Cor. 14:39-40; Gal. 6:1; 1 Pet. 3:15-16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant that others may see some of the gentleness and meekness of Jesus in my answers.
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