Coronavirus –  Christians don’t panic ; Unbelievers do

in Britain we have a lot to thank God for

As if you have not heard enough of it! . . .

A few days ago, I telephoned my financial advisor to discuss the current economic situation. I opened the conversation with the words, ‘Christians don’t panic; unbelievers do!’. He replied “Amen”. Of course, he is a fellow Christian.

The media is full of nothing else at the moment. It dominates news, and it monopolises the government’s agenda. Other important matters such as the war and humanitarian situation in Northern Syria and Yemen have vanished from the news.  Politics circles around the crisis.  Here in Britain we have a lot to thank God for: there is a national health service, which for all its shortcomings is geared for emergencies like this. In the USA, the situation could be a lot different. Many poor people do not have health insurance and run the risk of infecting others when trying to work when ill.   We are told to pray for the authorities and be subject to them (Romans 13).

As we are in our 70s, we are having to curtail our activities – ‘social isolation’ they call it.  We will miss our Christian meetings much. It brings home how much we rely on meetings, and how little we rely on our individual links with the Lord.  In our pathway we are alone yet not alone.

Indeed, many churches are closing their doors.  What do Christians do? – At the start we read ‘And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved’ (Acts 2:43-47).  Maybe something of the simplicity of the early Christian church will return.

Andrea Williams – The Church must repent of being ‘just another club’

Barrister Andrea Minichiello Williams, co-founder of Christian Concern, who represents persecuted Christians legally, has some forthright words. Maybe the current crisis will cause people to put Christ as the centre – not the congregation or community – and then learn what His church here really is.  Read her full article:

Andrea Williams calls the Church to repent of its silence in the face of evil

An Independent Path?

This brings me to another subject.  Some believers look on those with whom they do not meet as being on an independent path.  There is only one path for a Christian, the Christian path.  If by putting the company first we view others as ‘independent’, we must be unintentionally trying to walk on two roughly parallel paths at the same time – one foot in each.  They must slowly diverge – then where will we be?

The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day’. (Proverbs 4:18)

Through waves, through Clouds and Storms

This morning I had an email from our brother Leonard in Secunderabad, India.  He drew attention to Paul Gerhardt’s hymn ‘Through Clouds through Waves and Storms’ or ‘Through waves through clouds and storms’

I have posted it on the site, along with Leonard’s comments:

Through waves through clouds and storms

In grace, your brother

Sosthenes

March 2020

A Letter to those who might know me

I am therefore seeking, with God’s help to produce some simplified summaries of helpful articles, papers and ministry, presented in a way that is more intelligible to Christians in the 21st century, and accessible using current technology, and above all free of sectarianism, the ministry being for the whole Church of God. I seek humbly to keep to the essential message, and cover it adequately without introducing my own ideas and thoughts. The site is in its early stages www.adayofsmallthings.com. Please have a look at it.

Not the ruler of the synagogue but a brother
Sosthenes

Dear brother or sister in the Lord

Having retired I have been seeking direction from God as to how to use my time, abilities and resources to His glory, whilst recognising limitations, both physical and above all spiritual.

As some may know I have done some translation work on JND’s letters, so his ministry has been opened up to me more freshly.  For many years I had regarded it as beyond me in many ways, and I would still say that it is as Peter said of Paul ‘hard to be understood’.

If that is true of me, what of my fellow believers, most of whom have not enjoyed the privileges I have had of being under teaching, and able to participate in reading meetings where this ministry, and that of others, were valued and generally felt to be of the Spirit of God.

I am therefore seeking, with God’s help to produce some simplified summaries of helpful articles, papers and ministry, presented in a way that is more intelligible to Christians in the 21st century, and accessible using current technology, and above all free of sectarianism, the ministry being for the whole Church of God.  I seek humbly to keep to the essential message, and cover it adequately without introducing my own ideas and thoughts.   The site is in its early stages www.adayofsmallthings.com.  Please have a look at it.

In order not to draw attention to myself, I am using a pseudonym, Sosthenes (he just wanted to be a brother). Sosthenes Hoadelphos on Facebook; @BroSosthenes on Twitter.

Yes – this is the real ‘me’!

The ministry itself, of course, is not infallible:  and my simplified summaries are certainly not.  Without getting into arguments I would value the comments as to content or style by any who feel I have not explained things well, or have missed the point.  Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness Psalm 141:5.

I look forward to your comments, either by e-mail (Sosthenes@adayofsmallthings.com) or by making comments on the site.

With love and greetings in Christ.

Your brother

Sosthenes

August 2013

Darby Simplified

the words of a few of the Lord’s servants, John Nelson Darby (JND) in particular, mostly in simplified and summary form, to provide encouragement and instruction for believers who are concerned to ‘walk in the light’ – and above all following, and keeping close to Jesus.

By Sothenes – who just wanted to be ‘a brother’ – For more see ‘Introduction’

Zech 4:10
Who hath despised the day of small things

 

I am seeking with God’s help to draw the words of a few of the Lord’s servants, John Nelson Darby (JND) in particular, mostly in simplified and summary form, to provide encouragement and instruction for believers who are concerned to ‘walk in the light’ – and above all following, and keeping close to Jesus.

By Sothenes – who just wanted to be ‘a brother’ – For more see ‘Introduction

It will take some time to get through even the salient works of JND, but if there is anybody who would like to help with adding Mackintosh, Wigram, Stoney, Raven and others please let me know.

Also I would be very pleased for others to of through the Classics below, suggesting improvements and corrections with a view to their being published in hardcopy corm,

Summaries of Classics for the Church in Perilous Times

JohnNelsonDarby-avatar  J N Darby

The Faith once delivered to the Saints

JohnNelsonDarby-avatar  J N Darby Darby Simplified – The Nature and Unity of the Church of Christ
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby  Darby Summary – Separation from Evil, God’s Principle of Unity
  JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby  Darby Summary – Grace, the Power of Unity and of Gathering
  JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby Darby Simplified – On Ecclesiastical Independency 
  JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby Darby Simplified – Churches and the Church 
JohnNelsonDarby-avatar  J N Darby Darby Simplified – The Nature and Unity of the Church of Christ
  JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby Darby Simplified – The Notion of a Clergyman, Dispensationally the Sin against the Holy Ghost
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby

 The Present Hope of the Church

 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby The Church and its Glory
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby The First Resurrection – or The Resurrection of the Just.
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby The Progress of Evil on the Earth and its Judgment
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby The Second Coming of Christ
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby The Two Characters of Evil: Ecclesiastical Apostasy, and Civil Apostasy
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby
 JohnNelsonDarby-avatar J N Darby

 

ADOSS Newsletter No 6 – March 2014

Not the ruler of the synagogue but a brother - depiction from an icon in a Russian Orthodox ChurchΣωσθένης Ὁἀδελφὸς – Sosthenes the Brother

sosthenes@adayofsmallthings.com – 

ADOSS Newsletter No 6 – March 2014

Dear Christian Friends

ADOSS is progressing well, thank God, which gives me a lot to pray about.

I summarised two groups of articles – JND’s Faith once delivered to the Saints and the Present Hope of the Church.  These have been prepared for e-publication but I have not had enough replies from critical readers correcting the work.  Thank you for the input so far – but I need more before the booklets can be released in electronic or hard copy form.

The Sufferings of Christ

I have done a summary of JND’s  The Sufferings of Christ  – on Christ’s Sufferings from Men and from God, in His Spirit, and in Anticipation.  It is a most holy subject, and I am surprised it brought out so much criticism in Darby’s time.

This is the second of a series which can go on indefinitely Fundamental Truths’.  The first was on ‘The Resurrection’More will come, if the Lord will.  Your suggestions are welcome.

The Righteousness of God

I must confess to the fact that I am struggling with this one, originally in Doctrinal vol 2 (Series vol 7).  Darby sought to counter the belief, which was taught at that time, that Christ became our righteousness, that is that what was due under the law from us, He took on himself.  Hence He would help us walk in according to the same law here if we are to follow Him.  Personally, I have not heard this taught, nor do I know where it is still taught, but any tendency for Christians to place themselves under a legal obligation must have its root in this unscriptural teaching.  There is that favourite Easter hymn ‘There is a green hill far away’.  It goes on ‘He died to make us good’  and ‘try his works to do’.  Oh dear!

I hope to have this one done in a week.

Co-operation

I still need friends who will review ADOSS critically.  I am all too aware of my shortcomings, but I do not want anything erroneous to be on the website, or worse still in print.  So PLEASE take an article and compare it with the original (ask me for this) and see if I have covered the ground accurately and comprehensively, but in modern language, and reduced to about 1/3 the length.

So long as you have a love for the truth, love for the Lord and His people, and have the capabilities I do not mind who helps me:  male or female, old or young, ‘or whatever church connection.

Some new Friends

I am receiving more and more correspondence with godly souls.  Some of course are people just wanting money – one Roman Catholic priest wanted funds for Mass vestments and other things.  I pointed out that God was not interested in vestments, they were not necessary and, besides, all real priests in his congregation (ie all believers), were already clothed in the ‘best robe’!

But there are others – one sister hanging on to the idea that we will have to face the great tribulation – but most sound.

The Church

More and more, the ruined state of the Church is evident.  Wouldn’t we all like to see it totally united in its pristine pentecostal state?  But there are inconsistencies everywhere.  It just casts us on God.  When I was a boy, there was a brother in London who served widely, Percy Lyon.  He might have been a bit eccentric, but his teaching on the ‘broken-hearted churchman’, has remained with me all my life.

May you prove God’s grace.  Maranatha!

Your Brother, Sosthenes