Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sermon Reflection

At one point in his sermon today, Bob reminded us of Andy McCracken's sermon at Horn Creek on the book of James. Andy said that good works are useless for our salvation, but necessary for our chief end. The Westminster Shorter Catechism words it this way: "Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." Andy gave an historical illustration which I'll tell here in my own words...

Donald Cargill was a Covenanter minister in Scotland in the 17th century. He was born around the time that the Pilgrims journeyed to the New World. He was a minister at the time of the Restoration in 1660, when Charles II was restored to the throne (after the time of the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell). Charles II had promised to adhere to the Solemn League and Covenant which declared the church of Scotland to be Presbyterian. As soon as Charles ascended the throne, he began to go back on his promise, declaring himself to be the head of the church and installing his bishops over the Church of Scotland. This was repugnant to the Covenanters who stood for King Jesus' rights as the sole head over His church. Charles offered an Indulgence to the Scottish ministers, allowing them to remain in the church if they acknowledged his authority over the church. Many of the ministers refused to compromise and began preaching in conventicles, which were secret open air church services on the moors of Scotland. Cargill was one of the ministers who would not compromise. This was a time of great persecution for the Covenanters who were fined, pursued, imprisoned and martyred. Cargill himself died a martyr's death.

When one of the ministers who had accepted the King's Indulgence heard of Cargill's rejection of the same, he asked, "What needs all of this ado? We will get heaven and they will get no more."

When Cargill heard it, he replied, "Yes, we will get more; we will get God glorified on earth, which is more than heaven."

Revelation 4:11 says, "Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."

Salvation is important; the Christian life begins there. But as Christians we need to continue on, getting God glory by our lives.

I also want to include here one comment that Cargill made before he died. He said, "
I have been a man of great sins, but He has been a God of great mercies; and now, through His mercies, I have a conscience as sound and quiet as if I had never sinned." What a testimony!

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