I hope I have at least touch of Wm. Carey in me, the part that loved to say, “I can plow.”

In any case, here is 2 Timothy in the New Eclectic Version, leaving me just 9 books to go (but don’t tell anyone how LONG four of them are)! I praise the Lord for his faithfulness; the joy of doing this work abides, and I am truly grateful.

One might excerpt many passages from this little gem, but here is a favorite of mine that may encourage you:

For this reason, I would remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands; for God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and self-control. Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, grace that was granted us in Christ Jesus measureless ages ago, 10 but now has been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and brought to light both life and immortality through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a herald, an apostle, and a teacher. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; yet I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to keep what I have entrusted to him with a view to that Day.

Here is 1 Timothy in the NEV, and also a favorite selection. Hope you enjoy it! d

Glory to God for His Grace

12 I am grateful to the One who has empowered me—Christ Jesus our Lord—because He deemed me faithful and placed me in his service, 13 even though in former times I was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent aggressor. Yet I found mercy, because I acted ignorantly and in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord towards me was exceedingly abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 It is a trustworthy saying, deserving of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am first of all. 16 And yet for this very reason I obtained mercy, so that in me, as first, Christ Jesus might display all longsuffering, and so provide an example for those who would believe on Him for eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible—the one and only God—be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen!

After a long but delightful labor, I rejoice to give you the Epistle of James in the New Eclectic Version.

Here too is a short excerpt from that letter, a great field of battle over which Catholics and Protestants have spilled not a little ink!

Also, be sure to read the thoughtful comments that follow, plundered from The Reformation Study Bible for your edification.

 

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can such “faith” save him? 15 If a brother or sister is lacking proper clothes and daily food, 16 and one of you says to him, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” but you do not give him the things he needs for his body, what good is that? 17 So also with faith: if it does not have works, it is dead, being all by itself. 18 Moreover, someone may well say to you, “You have faith, and I have works; show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

19 You believe there is one God, and you do well; but the demons also believe that—and shudder! 20 But are you willing to be shown, O man devoid of truth, that “faith” without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father shown to be righteous because of his works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was colaboring with his works, and that by means of works his faith was being perfected? 23 And thus the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see from this that a man is declared to be righteous because of his works, and not by “faith” alone. 25 And in like manner, was not Rahab the harlot also shown to be righteous because of her works, when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so too “faith” without works is dead.

Does James Deny Justification by Faith Alone?

This text introduces the crucial issue of the relationship between faith and works. The question under scrutiny is: What kind of faith is saving faith? James’ question is rhetorical; the obvious answer is that faith without works cannot save. Faith that yields no deeds is not saving faith. The NT does not teach justification by the profession of faith or the claim to faith; it teaches justification by the possession of true faith, a faith that is not without works.

When Luther and the Reformers insisted on the formula “Justification by faith alone,” they meant to insist that justification rests upon reliance on the merit of Christ alone. The “alone” does not mean that the faith exists alone without any subsequent fruit of obedience. Luther insisted that saving faith is a living faith. “Dead faith” does not mean a faith that has perished. Rather, the image suggests a faith that never had any true life in it. A dead faith cannot make one alive, cannot “save your soul,” and is therefore false and useless (1:21).

James appeals to Abraham as his chief exhibit of one who is justified by his works. This involved no conflict with Paul, who also appeals to Abraham as the chief exhibit of one justified by faith. Note that James appeals to Gen. 22, while Paul appeals to Gen. 15. In the sight of God, Abraham is justified in Gen. 15, long before he offers Isaac on the altar. God knew Abraham’s faith to be genuine. Abraham is justified to us, to human eyes, in Gen. 22, when he shows his faith through his obedience.

Our Lord used the same verb in Luke 7:35 when he declared that “wisdom is justified by all her children” (i.e., shown to be genuine wisdom by its results.). Here, to “justify” does not mean to be reconciled to God, but to demonstrate the truth of a prior claim. Just as true wisdom is demonstrated by its fruit, so Abraham’s claim to faith is justified (vindicated) by his outward obedience. Yet his works were not the meritorious cause of his salvation; they added no merit to the perfect and sufficient merit of Christ.

In sum, here James is attacking all forms of antinomianism, all theologies that seek to have Jesus as Savior without embracing Him as Lord. Just as Paul demonstrated that trusting in one’s own works is deadly, so James teaches that resting on dead, empty “faith” is deadly. The two apostles balance one another perfectly.

 

Many a wise man, saturated in the Scriptures of God, has come to see that all creation is a school, and each and every kind of experience a classroom therein. Certainly this is the message of John Newton in his letter to Mrs. Dawson, formerly Miss Flower, but now married and nursing a newborn child.

Reading it, I took special pleasure in the way Newton’s experience as a parent becomes a window through which he beholds winsome glimpses of the heart of Father God. I am much in need of such glimpses, for truly, the essence of my spiritual warfare–and the key to any victory I may be able to achieve–lies in knowing more and more truly the character “the one with whom we have to do.”

In this excerpt, Newton makes Him manifest. I am grateful for it.

————–

I join with you in praising the Lord for his goodness. I understand the little stranger is to be called Jane, a name to which I am partial for the sake of some who bear it. If she is spared to you, I trust your best endeavors to teach her the good ways of the Lord will not be wanting, and you will find that while a child, and even an infant, she will be a teacher to you.

You will be often reminded of that text, “Like as a father (or a mother) pitieth a child, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” And when you are forced to overrule the inclinations of the child whom you love and wish to gratify; when she cries because she cannot have what you know would be hurtful to her; and when a regard for her health constrains you to give her some salutary pains . . . then you will be led to notice the true cause of many of your own disappointments and trials.

Should you see her sometimes misconstrue your tenderness and think you unkind–even though you have given her a thousand daily proofs of your love and care–because you cannot comply with her wishes at every point, you will see in her too much of my own picture, and something of your own.

On the other hand, the pleasure you will find in her affection and obedience; the readiness with which you will forgive her faults when she is sensible of them; and how much more you are disposed to caress her than to frown upon her . . . these feelings will lead your thoughts to our heavenly Father, who delights in our prosperity, and who does not willingly afflict us or permit us to be in heaviness without a need-be for it.

Thus, while we are in the Lord’s school, and desiring to be taught by him, we may always be learning, even though we should not be favored with the public preaching of the gospel. Yes, an attention to the Bible will enable us to derive profitable instruction from children, servants, friends, enemies, comforts, and crosses . . . from all we see, hear or meet with in the daily course of life.

Here is 2 Peter in the New Eclectic Version.

And here is brother Peter himself, reminding us that the multiform Word of God is given to his saints as a beacon of truth and hope, shining in a dark and dismal place. Reading the newspaper first, and 2 Peter next, you will get an excellent feel for both.

For we were not following cleverly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were in fact eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, a voice such as this was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, saying: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we ourselves heard this voice borne from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

Moreover, we also possess the trustworthy prophetic word, which you do well to keep in view as though it were a lamp shining in a dark and dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts; recognizing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s private inspiration, for no prophecy ever had its origin in the will of man, but holy men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.