Thursday, March 24, 2011
The Vision (3/24/11): Good company quickens
Image: Worship at Providence Reformed Baptist Church of the Black Hills in South Dakota
This week I finished up reading Thomas Watson’s book Heaven Taken By Storm (original 1669). The premise of the book is an extended meditation on Matthew 11:12: “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Watson takes the passage to mean that believers are to be “violent” (passionate, dedicated, active, aggressive) in living out the Christian life. This includes a “violent” pursuit of Christian community. Watson writes:
If you would be violent for the kingdom, keep company with such as are violent. When we wanted fire, we used to go to our neighbor’s hearth and fetch fire. Often be among the godly, and so you shall fetch some heat and quickening from them. Psalm 119:63: “I am a companion of all them that fear Thee.” Good company quickens. The holy discourse and example of one saint whets and sharpens another. The saints never go so fast to heaven as when they go in company. One Christian helps another forward. In other races that are run, many times one hinders another; but in this race to heaven, one Christian helps forward another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Edify one another, even as also ye do.” Oh, let not this article of our creed be forgotten: “The communion of the saints.”
When I read this passage I thought of the sermon and text from last Lord’s Day morning at CRBC (Not forsaking the assembling [Hebrews 10:23-25]). Indeed, we need to be committed to “keep company” with the saints, if we are to progress in godliness.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle