Notes and Jottings
J. N. Darby.
In Luke 15 the elder son stood on the ground of righteousness, and never got into the house at all.
In human science I learn what names of things and definitions mean, and then go and learn the things themselves; but in divine things, you must learn the things to understand the words.
God graciously gave miracles to confirm faith, but when they believed only through miracles, it was all no good.
In John 8 the eldest had more reputation to save. The writing on the ground was in a certain sense a dignified contempt of their hypocrisy.
Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of John are a preface. Christ had not come forth into His public ministry until John was cast into prison. (See John 3:24.)
Chapter 4 is worship in spirit and in truth.
Chapter 5 is the life-giving Son of God.
Chapter 6, Bread that came down from heaven.
Chapter 7, feast of tabernacles, and shewing to the world, closing the account of Christ personally.
Chapter 8, His words are rejected.
Chapter 9, His works are rejected.
Chapter 10, He will have His sheep in spite of everything.
Chapters 11 and 12, full testimony is given to Him by God when He is thus rejected.
Chapter 13 is He must depart out of this world unto the Father.
You get no forgiveness of sins in John's gospel, except administratively.
The work of Christ applies to my conscience, and His Person to my heart.
In John. the Lord does not say, "You are sinners," but "Ye shall die in your sins," treating them as reprobates.
John is almost entirely at Jerusalem, the other gospels chiefly in Galilee.
It was the people who came from Galilee, who did not know what the Jews were about, who asked, "Who goeth about to kill thee?"
2 Ques. What is the difference between hearing His voice and hearing His word?
In the former there is the additional attraction of His Person.
Metaphysics never can be right, because if they bring God in, it is religion; and if they leave Him out it is nothing but folly.
Ques. Do all Christians get all the rewards in the seven churches?
I suppose there will be a special sense of them given to those who have been faithful. All will sit upon His throne, though to me that is the lowest.
Reward is encouragement; if it is motive, it is wrong altogether. The crowns are all one to me, but different circumstances may bring out the characters; faithfulness to death has a crown of life, but all believers will get it.
In Isaiah 32:15, "Wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest," means the total change of the whole thing. Verse 14 is judgment on Jerusalem.
"Again a new commandment I write unto you," i.e., this loving one another; it is no new thing, and yet it is, because you have it now as "true in him and in you."
Apollos would not go to Corinth, when they had slighted Paul.
Christ has become not the light of angels, but the light of men.
Eternal life is what Christ is, as the risen Second Man.
The great subject of John's communication is, eternal life downwards, not righteousness upwards.
People say they can pluck themselves out of Christ's hand; then I say, 'Very well, let them,' but they can never perish if they do.