Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Outline of "Pilgrim's Progress," Chapter 3

This fall, the 5th and 6th grade boys Writing & Literature class I am tutoring will be reading John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. In preparation for this class, I am re-re-reading the book and constructing a detailed outline for each chapter as I read. The following outline is for Chapter 3 (in the 1991 Tyndale House Edition).

I. Christian Arrives at the Gate

A. Above the gate are the words of Matthew 7:7.

B. Christian knocks at the gate.

II. Christian Meets Good-will and Enters the Gate

A. Christian meets Good-will:
1. Good-will is described as a "solemn-looking person."
2. When Christian said who he was, Good-will let him in the Gate very eagerly.

B. Christian enters the Gate:
1. Good-will pulls Christian in the Gate quickly.
2. Good-will tells Christian that a strong castle, of which Beelzebub is captain, is nearby, and that Beelzebub and his allies shoot at those entering the gate.
3. Christian recounts his tale to Good-will.
4. Good-will directs Christian to follow the straight and narrow path to the House of the Interpreter.

III. The Interpreter's House

A. Christian arrives at the Interpreter's house and knocks on the door repeatedly until there is an answer.

B. Christian tells the man who answers the door who he is, and asks to speak to the master of the house.

C. The master of the house is called and, after a short time, comes to the door.

D. Christian explains himself to the master of the house.

IV. The Man in the Picture

A. Description of the Man in the Picture:
1. "[I]ntense-looking"
2. Eyes looking toward Heaven
3. Holding "the best of books"
4. "[T]he law of truth written on his lips
5. "[T]he world behind his back"
6. Standing as if "pleading with men"
7. "[A] golden crown... upon his head"

B. Interpreter's explanation of the Man in the Picture:
1. "[O]ne in a thousand"
2. Maternal:
a. "He can bring children into being"
b. "[He can] suffer birthpangs with them"
c. "[He can] nurse them himself"
3. "[H]is work is to know and reveal hidden things to sinners."
a. This is symbolized by:
i. "[H]is eyes looking toward Heaven"
ii. "[T]he best of books in his hand"
iii. "[T]he law of truth written on his lips"
b. This results in him "standing there as if pleading with sinners."
4. "[T]he world behind his back" indicates his disregard and disdain for "the things of this present world because of the love he has for his Master's service."
5. The crown on the man's head represents the glory he will have as his reward in the world to come.
6. Interpreter tells Christian that the Man in the Picture has authority to be his guide.

V. The Room Filled With Dust

A. Cleaning the room:
1. Interpreter shows Christian a room filled with dust.
2. Interpreter orders the room swept.
3. A sweeper comes in, begins to sweep, and the room is filled with a great cloud of dust.
4. Interpreter orders some water to be sprinkled on the dust.
5. A girl with a water-bucket comes in, sprinkles water on the dust, then the room is easily swept.

B. Interpreter's explanation of the room filled with dust:
1. Room = "the heart of a man who was never sanctified by the sweet grace of the Gospel.”

2. Dust = “original sin and inward corruptions”

3. Sweeper = Law

4. Water-bearer = Gospel

5. The dust cloud was indicative of the fact that the Law “revives and adds strength to sin.”

6. The sprinkling of the water was indicative of the fact that “when the Gospel comes into the heart… sin is vanquished and subdued.”


VI. Passion and Patience


A. Description of Passion and Patience:

1. Passion:

a. “quite discontent”

b. desirous of immediate treasure

c. wasteful

2. Patience:

a. “very quiet”

b. “willing to wait”


B. Interpreter’s explanation of Passion and Patience:

1. “Passion represents the people of this world”

2. “Patience represents [the people] of the world to come”


C. Christian’s observations concerning the wisdom of Patience:

1. Patience “waits for the best things”

2. Patience “will have glory in the end”


D. Interpreter’s additional observation: the glory of the next world will never wear out, but these present glories are suddenly gone.”


VII. The Fire by the Wall


A. Description: Interpreter showed Christian a fire burning beside a wall; though someone was constantly pouring water on it, “the Fire continued to burn, higher and hotter.”


B. Interpreter’s explanation of the Fire by the wall:

1. Fire = “the work of Grace that is formed in the heart”

2. “The one who throws water on it to extinguish it is the Devil.”


C. The mystery of the Fire by the wall revealed:

1. Interpreter shows Christian that there is a Man on the other side of the wall, secretly and continuously pouring oil into the Fire.

2. Interpreter explains that the Man is Christ and that the oil is Grace.


VIII. The Beautiful Palace


A. Interpreter shows Christian a beautiful Palace in a pleasant place; Christian observes people standing atop the Palace, clothed in gold.


B. Interpreter leads Christian to the door of the Palace, where there is:

1. A great crowd of people desiring to get in, but afraid to attempt to do so

2. A man sitting at a table near the door with a Book and Pen, “ready to take the name of anyone who would go in”

3. A group of armored men, determined to harm anyone who would enter

4. A man finally deciding to have his name written down; after a fierce battle with his assailants, he is welcomed into the Palace.


C. “Christian smiled and said, ‘I’m sure I understand the meaning of this.’”


IX. The Man in the Iron Cage


A. Interpreter shows Christian a man in an iron cage:

1. The man looks broken-hearted

2. The man explains that once he was on his way to the Celestial City, but he:

a. “[C]eased to watch and be sober”

b. Allowed himself to be driven by his lusts

c. “[S]inned against the light of the Word and the goodness of God”

d. “[G]rieved the Holy Spirit”

e. Hardened his heart so that he cannot repent


B. Christian asks the man if there is no hope, given that the Son is “very merciful,” but the man remains hopeless and says, “God has denied me repentance”


X. The Man with the Terrifying Dream

A. A man tells Christian of a terrifying dream in which the final judgment is taking place; some are gathered to safety and some are left behind.


B. The man explains to Christian that he thought the day of judgment had taken place, and that he was left behind; the man had seen Hell open at his feet, and his conscience had accused him.


XI. Conclusion


A. Christian tells Interpreter that the things he has seen fill him with both hope and fear.


B. Interpreter tells Christian to remember the things he has seen.


C. Christian makes preparations for his journey, and then resumes his travels, with Interpreter’s blessing.

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