dusty parlorThe Vital distinction between the Law and the Gospel

Then he took him by the hand, and led him into a very large parlor that was full of dust, because never swept; the which after he had reviewed a little while, the Interpreter called for a man to sweep. Now when he began to sweep, the dust began so abundantly to fly about, that Christian had almost therewith been choked. Then said the Interpreter to a Damsel that stood by, bring hither Water, and sprinkle the room; which when she had done it, was swept and cleansed with pleasure.

Christian: Then said Christian, What means this?

Interpreter: The Interpreter answered, This parlor is the heart of a man that was never sanctified by the sweet Grace of the Gospel (Jer. 17:9, Rom. 3:9-10).  The dust is his Original Sin, and inward Corruptions that have defiled the whole man (Our sin corrupts every aspect of our being, mind, will and affections Rom 5:12). 

He that began to sweep at first, is the Law; but she that brought Water, and did sprinkle it, is the Gospel. Now, whereas you saw that so soon as the first began to sweep, the dust did fly about, that the room by him could not be cleansed, but that you were almost choked therewith; this is to show you, that the Law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working) from Sin, does revive, put strength into, and increase it in the soul, even as it does discover and forbid it, for it does not give Power to subdue.

Again, as you saw the Damsel sprinkle the room with Water, upon which it was cleansed with pleasure; this is to show you, that when the Gospel comes in, the sweet and precious influences thereof to the heart, then, I say, even as you saw the Damsel lay the dust by sprinkling the floor with Water, so is Sin vanquished and subdued, and the soul made clean, through the Faith of it, and consequently fit for the King of Glory to inhabit.

Application:  The Two Sweepers

What does the first sweeper represent? God’s Law igniting the Hearts corruption

Romans 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

What does the second servant represent?  An evangelist spreading the good news of the gospel

Heb. 7:18-19;  Gal 3:10-11 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them. “Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Thus the balance between the Law/ gospel are important to the Christian and his Pilgrimage to the Celestial City!

 

The Godly Pastor

Bunyan —  June 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

 

Interpreter

Interpreter: Then said Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the candle, and bid Christian follow him….so he had him into a private room, and bid his man open a door; the which when he had done, Christian saw the picture a very grave person hang up against the wall; and this was the fashion of it: It had eyes lifted up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth was written upon its lips, the world was behind its back; it stood as if it pleaded with men, and a crown of gold did hang over its head.

Christian: Then said Christian, What means this?

 

Interpreter: The man whose picture this is, is one of a thousand (true pastor): he can beget children, 1 Cor 4:15, travail in birth with children, Gal 4:19, and nurse them himself when they are born. And where you see him with his eyes lift up to heaven, the best of books in his hand, and the law of truth writ on his lips: it is to show thee, that his work is to know, and unfold dark things to sinners; even as also you see him stand as if he pleaded with men. And whereas you see the world as cast behind him, and that a crown hangs over his head; that is to show thee, that slighting and despising the things that are present, for the love that he hath to his Master’s service, he is sure in the world that comes next, to have glory for his reward.

 

Now, said the Interpreter, I have showed thee this picture first, because the man

whose picture this is, is the only man whom the Lord of the place whither thou art going hath authorized to be thy guide in all difficult places you may meet with in the way: wherefore take good heed to what I have showed thee, and bear well in thy mind what thou hast seen, lest in thy journey thou meet with some that pretend to lead thee right, but their way goes down to death.

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Consider how important this section is my dear brethren.  This man is a Biblical picture of a Godly Pastor within the NT church:

Serious and sober pastor- 1 Tim 3:2

Looking towards heaven- Phil. 3:20

The Best of Books in his Hand – Acts 20:32

Proclaims the Truth alone – Acts 20:20, 2 Tim 4:1-2

World behind hid back – 1 John 2:15-17

Pleading with man to be make peace with God- 2 Cor 5:20

Crown of Gold  2 Tim 4:7-8

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**Ask yourself if your pastor matches these traits which are drawn from the word of God.  If not, please find a Biblical church to join.

House of Interpreter

Bunyan —  June 4, 2014 — 1 Comment

 

InterpreterThen he went on till he came at the house of the Interpreter,where he knocked over and over. At last one came to the door, and asked who was there.
Christian: Sir, here is a traveller, who was bid by an acquaintance of the good man of this house to call here for my profit; I would therefore speak with the master of the house.
So he called for the master of the house, who, after a little time, came to Christian, and asked him what he would have. Christian: Sir, said Christian, I am a man that am come from the city of Destruction, and am going to the Mount Zion; and I was told by the man that stands at the gate at the head of this way, that if I called here you would show me excellent things, such as would be helpful to me on my journey.
Interpreter: Then said Interpreter, Come in; I will show thee that which will be profitable to thee. So he commanded his man to light the candle, and bid Christian follow him…..
Observations and Commentary
  • This has been called a gallery of Illustrations.  A Classic within a Classic
  • There is an order and arrangement here which well illustrates Pilgrims Progress, as a Manuel of Christian Experience, and a guide to spiritual advancement
  •   George Cheevers “It would be difficult to find 12 consecutive pages in the English language, that contain such volumes of meaning, in such a beautiful and instructive lessons, with heavenly imagery, in so pure and sweet a style, and with so thrilling an appeal to the best affections of the heart, as these pages descriptive of Christian’s sojourning in the house of the Interpreter.”

 

  • ·Who does Interpreter Represent? The Holy Spirit
  • John 16:13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
  • John 14:26  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you

  • This whole chapter is a description of the Christian Pilgrim seeking and obtaining light, knowledge and instruction from the source of all Christian teaching, the Holy Spirit
  •  George Cheevers “But we are to observe that Christian did not get into the house of Interpreter, not obtain his precious guidance without knocking, yea, and that earnestly.  This is to signify that after Christ has let us in at the Wicket Gate, our great and immediate work must be to seek with most humble diligence and earnestness the gracious illuminating and sanctifying influences of His Spirit.”

 

  • Here Bunyan emphasizes the essential role of the Illumination of the  Holy Spirit with regard to the comprehension of the truth of God”   – Barry Horner
  • Psalm 25:9,12,14   He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way…..Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose…….The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant.

Narrow_Way

  

Alexander Whyte on the Narrow Way           

        

  “The gatekeeper could not say that the way to the Celestial City was anything other than a narrow, a stringent, heart-searching way.  There are many wide ways to Hell, and many there be who crowd them, but there is only one way to heaven….. Strive, He says, strive every day.  For many shall seek to enter into the way of salvation, but because they do not early enough, and long enough, and painfully enough strive, they come short, and are shut out…… Does  your religion cause you any real effort–Christ calls it agony? … What cross do you take up everyday?  In what thing do you everyday deny yourself?  Name it!  Put your finger on it.  Write it in the margin of your Bible.  Do you have any fear and trembling in the work of your salvation?  If not, there is something wrong”

Jonathan Edwards

“Almost all that is said in the New Testament of men’s watching, giving earnest heed to themselves, running the race that is set before them, striving and agonizing, fighting, putting on the whole armor of God, pressing forward, reaching forth, crying to God day and night; I say, almost all that we have in the New Testament on these subjects is spoken and directed to the saints.  Where those things are applied to sinners seeking salvation once, they are spoken of the saints prosecution of their salvation ten times.”

 

04_goodwill_shows_the_way

Goodwill: But did none of them follow you, to persuade you to go back?

Christian: Yes, both Obstinate and Pliable; but when they saw that they could not prevail, Obstinate went railing back; but Pliable came with me a little way.

Goodwill: But why did he not come through?

Christian: We indeed came both together until we came to the Slough of Despond, into the which we also suddenly fell. And then was my neighbor Pliable discouraged, and would not venture farther. Wherefore, getting out again on the side next to his own house, he told me I should possess the brave country alone for him: so he went his way, and I came mine; he after Obstinate, and I to this gate.

Goodwill: Then said Goodwill, Alas, poor man; is the celestial glory of so little esteem with him, that he counteth it not worth running the hazard of a few difficulties to obtain it?

Christian: Truly, said Christian, I have said the truth of Pliable; and if I should also say all the truth of myself, it will appear there is no betterment betwixt him and myself. It is true, he went back to his own house, but I also turned aside to go in the way of death, being persuaded thereto by the carnal arguments of one Mr. Worldly Wiseman.

Goodwill: Oh, did he light upon you? What, he would have had you seek for ease at the hands of Mr. Legality! They are both of them a very cheat. But did you take his counsel?

Christian: Yes, as far as I durst. I went to find out Mr. Legality, until I thought that the mountain that stands by his house would have fallen upon my head; wherefore there I was forced to stop.

Goodwill: That mountain has been the death of many, and will be the death of many more: it is well you escaped being by it dashed in pieces.

Christian: Why truly I do not know what had become of me there, had not Evangelist happily met me again as I was musing in the midst of my dumps; but it was God’s mercy that he came to me again, for else I had never come hither. But now I am come, such a one as I am, more fit indeed for death by that mountain, than thus to stand talking with my Lord. But O, what a favor is this to me, that yet I am admitted entrance here!

Goodwill: We make no objections against any, notwithstanding all that they have done before they come hither; they in no wise are cast out. John 6:37. And therefore good Chris- tian, come a little way with me, and I will teach thee about the way thou must go. Look before thee; dost thou see this narrow way? That is the way thou must go. It was cast up by the patriarchs, prophets, Christ, and his apostles, and it is as strait as a rule can make it; this is the way thou must go.

Christian: But, said Christian, are there no turnings nor windings, by which a stranger may lose his way?

Goodwill: Yes, there are many ways butt down upon this, and they are crooked and wide: but thus thou mayest distinguish the right from the wrong, the right only being strait and narrow. Matt 7:14

Then I saw in my dream, that Christian asked him further, if he could not help him off with his burden that was upon his back. For as yet he had not got rid thereof; nor could he by any means get it off without help.

He told him, “As to thy burden, be content to bear it until thou comest to the place of deliverance; for there it will fall from thy back of itself.”

Then Christian began to gird up his loins, and to address himself to his journey. So the other told him, that by that he was gone some distance from the gate, he would come to the house of the Interpreter, at whose door he should knock, and he would show him excellent things. Then Christian took his leave of his friend, and he again bid him God speed.

Psalm 108:12   Oh give us help against the adversary,  For deliverance  by man is in vain.

Wicket.GateThen did Christian address himself to go back; and Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God speed; So he went on with haste, neither spake he to any man by the way; nor if any asked him, would he vouchsafe them an answer. He went like one that was all the while treading on forbidden ground, and could by no means think himself safe, till again he was got into the way which he had left to follow Mr. Worldly Wiseman’s counsel. So, in process of time, Christian got up to the (wicket) gate. Now, over the gate there was written, “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matt. 7:7

He knocked, therefore, more than once or twice, saying,

“May I now enter here? Will he within Open to sorry me, though I have been
An undeserving rebel? Then shall I
Not fail to sing his lasting praise on high.”

At last there came a grave person to the gate, named Goodwill, who asked who was there, and whence he came, and what he would have.

Christian: Here is a poor burdened sinner. I come from the city of Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that I may be delivered from the wrath to come; I would therefore, sir, since I am informed that by this gate is the way thither, know if you are willing to let me in.

Goodwill: I am willing with all my heart, said he; and with that he opened the gate.

So when Christian was stepping in, the other gave him a pull. Then said Christian, What means that? The other told him, A little distance from this gate there is erected a strong castle, of which Beelzebub is the captain: from thence both he and they that are with him, shoot arrows at those that come up to this gate, if haply they may die before they can enter in. Then said Christian, I rejoice and tremble. So when he was got in, the man of the Gate asked him who directed him thither.

Christian: Evangelist bid me come hither and knock, as I did: and he said, that you, sir, would tell me what I must do.

Goodwill: An open door is set before thee, and no man can shut it.

Christian: Now I begin to reap the benefits of my hazards.
Goodwill: But how is it that you came alone?
Christian: Because none of my neighbors saw their danger as I saw mine. Goodwill: Did any of them know of your coming?

Christian: Yes, my wife and children saw me at the first, and called after me to turn again: also, some of my neighbors stood crying and calling after me to return; but I put my fingers in my ears, and so came on my way. Wicket Gate

Pilgrim Admonished

Bunyan —  April 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

Christ_Cross_by_artsjedi

 Then Evangelist proceeded, saying, Give more earnest heed to the things that I shall tell thee of. I will now show thee who it was that deluded thee, and who it was also to whom he sent thee. The man that met thee is one Worldly Wiseman, and rightly is he so called; partly because he savoreth only the doctrine of this world, (therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church;) and partly because he loveth that doctrine best, for it saveth him best from the cross: and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to pervert my ways, though right. Now there are three things in this man’s counsel that thou must utterly abhor.   (Pilgrim is Admonished in a pastoral fashion)

Gal. 6:12; 1 Jn 4:5   

1.     His turning thee out of the way 

2.     His laboring to render the cross odious to thee.  

3.     And his setting thy feet in that way that leadeth unto the administration of death.

 

First, Thou must abhor his turning thee out of the way; yea, and thine own consenting

thereto; because this is to reject the counsel of God for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly Wiseman. The Lord says, “Strive to enter in at the straight gate,” the gate to which I send thee; “for strait is the gate that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” From this little wicket-gate, and from the way thereto, hath this wicked man turned thee, to the bringing of thee almost to destruction: hate, therefore, his turning thee out of the way, and abhor thyself for hearkening to him.  Luke 13:24; Matt 7:13-14

***

Secondly, Thou must abhor his laboring to render the cross odious unto thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures of Egypt. Besides, the King of glory hath told thee, that he that will save his life shall lose it. And he that comes after him, and hates not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be his disciple. I say, therefore, for a man to labor to persuade thee that that shall be thy death, without which, the truth hath said, thou canst not have eternal life, this doctrine thou must abhor.

Thirdly, Thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth to the administration of death. And for this thou must consider to whom he sent thee, and also how unable that person was to deliver thee from thy burden.  Heb. 11:25-26; Mark 8:38, Jn. 12:25

bunyan-meeting-evangelist-points-the-way-window

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He to whom thou wast sent for ease, being by name Legality, is the son of the bond- woman which now is, and is in bondage with her children, and is, in a mystery, this Mount Sinai, which thou hast feared will fall on thy head. Now if she with her children are in bondage, how canst thou expect by them to be made free? This Legality, therefore, is not able to set thee free from thy burden. No man was as yet ever rid of his burden by him; no, nor ever is like to be: ye cannot be justified by the works of the law; for by the deeds of the law no man living can be rid of his burden: Therefore Mr. Worldly Wiseman is an alien, and Mr. Legality is a cheat; and for his son Civility, notwithstanding his simpering looks, he is but a hypocrite, and cannot help thee. Believe me, there is nothing in all this noise that thou hast heard of these sottish men, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee. After this, Evangelist called aloud to the heavens for confirmation of what he had said; and with that there came words and fire out of the mountain under which poor Christian stood, which made the hair of his flesh stand up. The words were pronounced: “As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Gal. 3:10; 4:6f

***

Now Christian looked for nothing but death, and began to cry out lamentably; even cursing the time in which he met with Mr. Worldly Wiseman; still calling himself a thousand fools for hearkening to his counsel. He also was greatly ashamed to think that this gentleman’s arguments, flowing only from the flesh, should have the prevalency with him so far as to cause him to forsake the right way. This done, he applied himself again to Evangelist in words and sense as follows.

***

Christian: Sir, what think you? Is there any hope? May I now go back, and go up to the wicket-gate? Shall I not be abandoned for this, and sent back from thence ashamed? I am sorry I have hearkened to this man’s counsel; but may my sin be forgiven?

Evangelist: Then said Evangelist to him, Thy sin is very great, for by it thou hast com- mitted two evils: thou hast forsaken the way that is good, to tread in forbidden paths. Yet will the man at the gate receive thee, for he has good-will for men; only, said he, take heed that thou turn not aside again, lest thou “perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.”

So Pilgrim is Admonished

Reading.booksTheological Books awakened Bunyan’s heart:

 

I changed my condition into a married state, and my mercy was to light upon a wife whose father was counted godly. This woman and I, though we came together as poor as poor might be, not having so much household stuff as a dish or spoon betwixt us both, yet this she had for her part, The Plain Man’s Pathway to heaven, and The Practice of Piety, which her father had left her when he died.

In these two books I should sometimes read with her, wherein I also found some things that were somewhat pleasing to me; but all this while I met with no conviction.

 

Wherefore these books with this relation, though they did not reach my heart, to awaken it about my sad and sinful state, yet they did beget within me some desires to religion: so that, because I knew no better, I fell in very eagerly with the religion of the times

Pastoral Instruction

Bunyan —  March 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

04_goodwill_shows_the_way

Evangelist: What doest thou here, Christian? said he: at which words Christian knew not what to answer; wherefore at present he stood speechless before him. Then said Evan- gelist farther, Art not thou the man that I found crying without the walls of the city of De- struction?

Christian: Yes, dear sir, I am the man.
Evangelist: Did not I direct thee the way to the little wicket-gate?
Christian: Yes, dear sir, said Christian.
Evangelist: How is it then thou art so quickly turned aside? For thou art now out of the
way.

Christian: I met with a gentleman so soon as I had got over the Slough of Despond, who persuaded me that I might, in the village before me, find a man that could take off my burden.

Evangelist: What was he?

Christian: He looked like a gentleman, and talked much to me, and got me at last to yield: so I came hither; but when I beheld this hill, and how it hangs over the way, I suddenly made a stand, lest it should fall on my head.

Evangelist: What said that gentleman to you?
Christian: Why, he asked me whither I was going; and I told him.
Evangelist: And what said he then?
Christian: He asked me if I had a family; and I told him. But, said I, I am so laden with
the burden that is on my back, that I cannot take pleasure in them as formerly.

Evangelist: And what said he then?
Christian: He bid me with speed get rid of my burden; and I told him it was ease that I
sought. And, said I, I am therefore going to yonder gate, to receive farther direction how I may get to the place of deliverance. So he said that he would show me a better way, and short, not so attended with difficulties as the way, sir, that you set me in; which way, said he, will direct you to a gentleman’s house that hath skill to take off these burdens: so I believed him, and turned out of that way into this, if haply I might be soon eased of my burden. But when I came to this place, and beheld things as they are, I stopped, for fear (as I said) of danger: but I now know not what to do.  

Evangelist: Then said Evangelist, Stand still a little, that I show thee the words of God. So he stood trembling. Then said Evangelist, “See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh; for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven.” He said, moreover, “Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” He also did thus apply them: Thou art the man that art running into this misery; thou hast begun to reject the counsel of the Most High, and to draw back thy foot from the way of peace, even almost to the hazarding of thy perdition.

Then Christian fell down at his feet as dead, crying, Woe is me, for I am undone! At the sight of which Evangelist caught him by the right hand, saying, “All manner of sin and blasphemies shall be forgiven unto men.”  “Be not faithless, but believing.”  Then did Christian again a little revive, and stood up trembling, as at first, before Evangelist.

Pastoral Instruction:

Heb. 12:25    See to it that you do not refuse Him who is  speaking. For  if those did not escape when they  refused him who  warned them on earth,  much less will we escape who turn away from Him who  warns from heaven.

Heb. 10:38    BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH;   AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.

Matt. 12:31   “ Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

John 20:27 Then He  said to Thomas, “ Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

The Dangers of Legalism

Bunyan —  March 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

 

Sinai

Mr. Worldly Wiseman offered a quick and easy way for Christian to get rid of his burden.   His way was carnal way of Legalism, a way that appeals to the flesh.  He directs poor Christian to Mr. Legality so that he can remove his burden.

 

Also his burden now seemed heavier to him, than while he was in his way. There came also flashes of fire out of the hill, that made Christian afraid that he should be burned. Here, therefore, he sweat and did quake for fear. And now he began to be sorry that he had taken Mr. Worldly-wiseman’s counsel.  

 

Christian‘s burden grew heavier as he is overwhelmed with fear.  Outward reformation is never a suitable replacement for faith in Christ.  The Pharisee’s were guilty of focusing on the external while neglecting the heart.  Legalism leads to depression, pride, guilt, anxiety, frustration and despair.  More importantly, it robs God of His glory and deceives man to believe a false standard of spirituality.  It seeks to render useless the passive and active obedience of Christ! Gal. 2:21, 1:6-8).  Legalism is not the way of salvation!  Rom. 3:20 because by the works  of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.  You must look to the finished Work of Christ alone for salvation!  John 14:6  Jesus  said to him, “I am  the way, and  the truth, and  the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.  Repent of any Legalism in your life and look to the risen Savior!

 

Alexander Whyte  

“Watch yourselves well, for you all have a large piece of this worldly-wise man in yourselves…. It is a sure sign to you that you do not yet know the plague of your own heart, unless you know yourself to be a man more set upon the position and praise that come from God only.  Set a watch on your own worldly heart.  Watch and pray, lest you also enter into all Worldly-wise mans temptation”