Common Slaves

Common Men; Uncommon Master



Truly, if religion languish in the closet, it will quickly die in the family.

-John Flavel Works VI p128 

Sometimes it’s time to shut up.

Talking is not the problem. The problem is when incessant talking becomes a cover for indecision or even cowardice…It’s death by dialogue. The conversation never stops after affirming the historic position. There will always be another paper, another symposium, and another round of conversation. The moratorium on making pronouncements will only be lifted once the revisionist [or progressive or liberal] position has won out. Every doctrine central to the Christian faith and precious to you as a Christian has been hotly debated and disputed. If the “conversation” about the resurrection or the Trinity or the two natures of Christ continued as long as smart people on both sides disagreed, we would have lost orthodoxy long ago.

Kevin DeYoung, “What the Bible says about Homosexuality,” pg. 76

ed. note: For various reasons, generally we only quote from brothers whose presence on this earth is now a slab of etched granite and some yellowing pages. But this seemed especially poignant and useful (notice how I avoid the term “relevant” with great determination, if not skill), so I offer it here as food for thought.

O, if he would punish me for my sins, it would not wound my heart so deep to offend him;

But though I sin continually, he continually repeats his kindness to me.

At times I feel I could bear any suffering, but how can I dishonour this glorious God?

…Oh that I could give myself up to him, so as never more attempt to be my own! or have any will or affections that are not perfectly conformed to his will and his love!

But alas, I cannot live and not sin

– Valley of Vision

“May I always be amongst those who not only hear but know Thee, who walk with and rejoice in Thee, who take Thee at Thy word and find life there.” Valley of Vision

ed note: a very dear friend of mine, Pastor Paul Walker of Grand Junction, CO, often sends me snippets of encouragement such as this on a Sunday morning. Thought I would copy and paste his text message and share it. By God’s grace we hope to bring Pastor Paul to preach at a common slaves combined service in the spring of 2017. -jr

Ask these prophets whether they have felt those spiritual torments, those creations of God, that death and hell which a company a real regeneration… And if they speak to you only of agreeable things, of tranquil impressions, of devotion and piety, as they say, do not believe them although they should pretend to of been transported to the third heaven.

– Martin Luther, 1521 concerning some who claimed to be prophets receiving direct revelation from God. As quoted by D’Aubigne

The man of God is not he who seeks to form his age according to his own peculiar ideas, but he who, distinctly perceiving God’s truth, such as it is found in his Word, and as it is hidden in his Church, brings it to his contemporaries with courage and decision.


Flavel on the Death of a Believer

As temporal death is a penal evil, and part of the curse, so God inflicts it not upon believers; but they must die for other ends, namely, to be made perfectly happy in a more full and immediate enjoyment of God, than they can have in the body: and so, death is theirs by way of privilege.

John Flavel, Fountain of Life

ed. note: this particular quote is a favorite of mine for use in the funeral of a believer. It is also especially meaningful to me, as it was my use of this quotation which caught the ear of Pastor Eric Anderson, and opened our first conversation and subsequent friendship together, which has been of great value to me. -jr

What a heart have I! Did the blood of Christ run out so freely and abundantly for me? and cannot I shed one tear for my own sins, that pierced him? O let me never be friends with my own heart, till it love Christ better, and hate sin more.

-John Flavel, Sacramental Meditations

The Master Who Rewards

Oh brethren! who would not study and pray, spend and be spent, in the service of such a bountiful Master! Is it not worth all our labour and sufferings, to come with all those souls we instrumentally begat to Christ: Continue reading “The Master Who Rewards”

Blog at

Up ↑