"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for
the sake of Christ. What is more, I
consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness
of knowing Christ Jesus my
Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish,
that I may gain Christ" --
Phil 3:8 (NIV)
Rutherford wrote this during a period of political and religious
instability. He himself was in
exile because of his resistance to these changes. Rutherford believed
that in the final analysis,
Christ would be the judge of his case.
"The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for
your feet."" -- Psa 110:1 (NIV)
"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those
who do wrong; for like the grass they
will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away."
-- Psa 37:1,2 (NIV)
How can we be Christians and not expect Christ to not take
us outside of our comfort zone? It
is unreasonable to expect our Lord not to radically change our
Such as health, wealth, and prosperity.
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the
everlasting arms." -- Deu 33:27 (NIV)
Scottish for "children".
That is, the scandal of following Christ, I Peter 2:8.
That is, sorting out those who really belong to Christ and
those who merely have a religious
Rutherford is saying that God, in His wisdom, is using the
experiences of this life to prepare us
for heaven. In this sense heaven will be more blessed for us
because of these experiences.
Therefore the time between our conversion and death may be seen
as a "budding" process
preparing us for heaven.
Rutherford's correspondent was a remarried widow, whose husband
was chronically ill.
That is, when Christ returns.
There were monetary rewards for ministers if they would approve
of the changes in the Church
of Scotland. However, Rutherford could not go along because his
conscience was Christ's
property. He would rather die than have it up for sale.
That is, of his recent decision to stand for Christ.