Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Octavius Winslow on Living for Christ


In addition to having a sweet name, Octavius Winslow said some pretty exciting things about living for Christ. One of my personal appeals to the young people I coach and disciple is to not be mediocre for God. In that light, I love what Winslow says here:

"Is my Redeemer thus magnified in me before the world and the Church? Oh, aim for a high standard! Do not be a common-place professor. Do not be an ordinary Christian. Shun not to be singular. Dare for the glory of Christ to come out of the world, not to touch the unclean thing, and to be separate, set apart for God alone. 'Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit! so shall you be my disciples.' Thank God for the little, but, oh, aim for the 'much fruit!' -strong faith, ardent love, self-consuming zeal, unreserved obedience, holy, and entire, and supreme surrender. 'From me is your fruit found.' Your union with Christ, your living in Christ, your close adherence to Christ, your constant drawing from Christ, will be found to involve the happy secret of that great fruitfulness which brings most glory to the Triune God. Come- drawn by grace, constrained by love, attracted by the glory and the preciousness of Jesus- come now to that one 'altar which sanctifies both the giver and the gift,' and as you lay yourself upon it, body, soul, and spirit, exclaim with the apostle, 'Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.' The solemn vow is taken! The holy surrender is made! It is seen, it is heard, it is ratified in heaven. May you be so strengthened from above, 'that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ,' is the devout and fervent desire of one who, with you, through time and through eternity, hopes to unite in the grateful, adoring, and never ceasing hallelujah, 'Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift!' "

6 comments:

Qayaq said...

Completely off topic, but are those the Sangre de Christo mountains as your header picture?

Reepicheep said...

yep

Zach said...

Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Great stuff.

Rick Calohan said...

I presume this quote below is also attributed to Octavius Winslow since it appears on his page.

"By the grace of God I am what I am. Christian, the only thing that makes you to differ from the vilest being that pollutes the earth, or from the darkest fiend that gnaws his chains in hell, is the free grace of God"!

Amen, Amen, and Amen.

Unfortunately the people I know who attend or are members of a Baptist church negate or are oblivious to the Calvinistic origins of this denomination.

Historically speaking it was the infamous “Danbury Baptist Letter” response by President Thomas Jefferson, a private correspondence in which Jefferson was assuaging the concerns of the Danbury Baptist that the Government would not interfere in the religious liberties that somehow became the liberal pillar “wall of separation between Church and State” and was twisted by the Anti Christian Liberties Union puppet Justice Hugo Black in the 1947 Everson v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that led America down the slippery slope of removing prayer in public schools, and the pledge of allegiance for the use of the term “one nation under God”

http://www.reformedreader.org/dbc.htm

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0330_0001_ZS.html

While my only first hand experience of Baptist services was in my youth attending VBS and Revivals. It was at a VBS that I learned the verse that transformed my life which there can be no neutrality and which any person who calls themselves a Christian must remember in a world of Universalistic Secularism, John 14:6 Jesus said unto him, “I am that Way, and that Truth, and that Life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

My maternal great grandfather so I am told was a Baptist preacher, and sadly my maternal great Uncle is none other than the notorious Pastor (using that term loosely) Fred Phelps, which I am sure any Calvinist, any Baptist, and any Christian would not consider Fred Phelps to be a Calvinist, a Baptist or a Christian.

Reepicheep said...

Woody sent me a neat response to this post (2 parts):


Brother Octavious’s, “to live for Christ,” brought forth a word picture: supreme surrender, bearing much fruit, drawing near, unreserved obedience, complete union, brought my mind to the great “abide,” John 15.
What is the depth, the height the riches the rewards, the unspeakable glory of what it means to truly “abide in Christ?” Here are some thoughts about “abiding in Christ” that came to me after returning from a wonderful trip to vineyards of Napa Valley in 2005. To stand beside, to be inseparably attached, totally dependent upon Him, being an active and living part of His body, continually drawing nourishment from Him and surrounding ourselves with His presence. As we grow in the Lord, we rise to the position of abiding in Christ by various means. Abiding in Him can be accomplished through consecrated discipleship, Bible study, public and private worship, witnessing, praise, prayer, receiving the Holy Sacraments, and using our spiritual gifts for His glory.
In John 15, Christ uses the term abide as a way of expressing a triune relationship all believers have with the Father and with the Son. Christ shares this perfect union in the analogy of the TRUE and everlasting grapevine. Within a grapevine you have three basic elements. First the actual main vine. The vine supports and gives nourishment to branches. A carefully pruned healthy branch produces abundance fruit. This relationship can only be successful when the branch is securely attached, grafted into the main vine. The fruit is then securely connected by the branches. Christ said He must be recognized as the only TRUE vine. The Father should be understood as the vinedresser and all Christians should acknowledge that we are merely His branches.

Reepicheep said...

The vinedresser’s job never ends. He maintains vigilance, caring for each plant. He never stops His tender pruning. Pruning is cutting away the dead or unproductive parts. Sometimes this spiritual pruning can be painful, especially if we resist His will, demanding to grow our own way. The Holy Spirit’s job; reveal the things that are unproductive, unhealthy. Pruning removes the unproductive habits that do not please Him and replaces them with a stronger desire to produce good and healthy fruit. In pruning, God asks us to let go of all things that keep us from His eternal kingdom purposes. Healthy branches will produce much fruit. But the unhealthy branches produce little fruit. And some branches never produce any fruit at all. An unhealthy branch takes away needed nourishment and inhibits the growth of the more healthy branches.
If Christians are only the branches----- then who or what is the fruit? Here was the real earth shaking revelation the Lord revealed to me; on a healthy mature grape vine many times the branches are not even seen! We aren’t the fruit, nor are we the colorful leaves that surround the fruit! A branch does not need to be visible to be an effective producing part of the vine. Our purpose is to function as an extension of the main vine! When we remain firmly grafted to the main vine, our job is to continual lift up, supporting the new, tender fruit! Christ commands us to go into ‘all the world’ and “bear MUCH FRUIT!” As a result of our faithful labor, a bountiful crop of beautiful and healthy grapes is what we strive for. I believe these fruits of labor are those believers that God sends us to nurture, support, hold up in prayer and help them take the necessary steps towards growing in Christ. And in the same loving way, we are to take crops of non-believers, support them, bringing newly grafted fruit to the TRUE VINE! Once the elect are grafted to the main vine, the old branch will furnish them support and nourishment so they become productive fruit bearers themselves. Close your eyes and picture walking the between the fertile rows of the maturing vines. Can you see the strong, enduring, rugged vines and the ragged and rough branches? Can you see how the vinedresser carefully and lovingly pruns each “elected” branch? Can you smell the spicy sweetness of the luscious grapes, hanging there, waiting to be crushed and blended? As the sweet juices mingle with one another, take a deep breath----inhale the fragrant aromas. Remember; just as there are literally hundreds of varieties grapes, once they blend together, the juice from one adds to the flavor of the others.
“I AM the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in ME, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up. If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit so prove to be My disciples.” (John 15:5-8)