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Sunday, September 03, 2017

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 64

In a previous excerpt, Knapp stated that there are four features of "impressions" from God. These are Scriptural; Right (consistent with good morals); Providential (in harmony with God's will); and Reasonable. His discussion of the result of living by "Convictions from Above," according to Christ's example, continues:

3. He Never Said or Did an Unreasonable Thing. He was always reasonable. He was so manifestly so that His bitterest foes seldom disputed His logic, and when they did they fell confounded beneath its lightnings. His replies so exposed their ignorance and revealed His own wisdom, that, dumbfounded, they "could not answer Him again to those things," "and after that they durst not ask Him any questions at all." His doctrines, His requirements of His followers, and His own life, were all in harmony with the cool conclusions of a spiritually enlightened judgment. Notice the illustration of this in a few of the incidents of His life.

(a). His Temptation in the wilderness. If He was to succor and sympathize with weak, tempted humanity, was it not reasonable that He, weak, exhausted, and alone, should meet and vanquish severe temptations? If the written Word is the weapon which must be wielded to defeat the enemy, is it not reasonable that our great Exemplar should embrace an occasion to teach us how to use it?

(b). His Plan of Propagating the Gospel. Could any more reasonable time for opening His ministry he suggested than that which He chose, in the very height of John's popularity, when the multitudes were thronging him, and the nation was awakened, and religious thought was at high tide as the result of the startling utterances of the new Elijah? Has any more reasonable methods for proclaiming the truth, and getting and holding the attention of a nation ever been found than His plain, pointed preaching, combined with the miraculous deeds of mercy which He gratuitously performed, and His fearless arraignment of the formalists of His day? Can we conceive of a more admirable plan for the work He had to do than His, of sending out "simultaneously a number of His most cordial friends and followers to assist in making the most powerful impression possible on the community?" Does not the sequel prove that He chose the most reasonable time, methods, and men for the accomplishment of His work?

Do not His public trial, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and the gifts with which He has endowed his followers, present the most effective and rational plan for the purpose designed that possibly can be conceived of? The rationality of Jesus' methods were unwittingly eulogized by the famous French wit, to whom a religious enthusiast came for advice about introducing a new religion. "Be crucified and rise again the third day," was the sarcastic, yet forceful counsel.

Excerpted from Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp. Original publication date, 1892. Public domain. My source is here. The previous post in the series is here.

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